What Is Pathos?


Simple Definition:

Pathos is a rhetorical device [way of talking that makes the speaker more persuasive] that appeals to emotions [feelings]. It is used to evoke [bring about] an emotional response in the audience, which can be sadness, happiness, anger, or sympathy. Pathos is often used in speeches, advertisements, or storytelling to create a connection with the audience and persuade them.


  • The speaker used pathos when telling a heart-wrenching story about a disadvantaged child to evoke sympathy from the audience.
  • The advertisement for a charity organization used pathos by showing images of starving children to appeal to people’s compassion and encourage them to donate.

Very Simple Definition:

Pathos is a way of using emotions to convince people to feel or do something.

For example:

  • A sad video might make people feel sorry for the animals and want to adopt them.
  • A politician might try to make people angry at the opposition, so they vote for him instead.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.