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Example:

Feigning cold to be hugged. [...] in its purest form.

When I search on Google or Theraurus I just get its noun counterpart: http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/pathetic. But I'm sure I'm missing a very obvious/commonly used synonyms. Any suggestions?

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    Patheticness is not that uncommon.
    – ermanen
    Commented May 3, 2015 at 16:34
  • The trouble is that calling someone pathetic because they feign cold to get a hug is not a synonym, it's a value judgement. The word does describe the cold-feigning person, it tell us what a tough-minded character like you (and BTW I agree with you) thinks of the behaviour. IOW it is normative not descriptive. Having said that, I offer you NEEDY.
    – David Pugh
    Commented May 3, 2015 at 17:56
  • @David Pugh My mistake. I couldn't think a better example for "patheticness".
    – wyc
    Commented May 3, 2015 at 18:02

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I can offer you a word that is not so common, but is quite poetic.

pathos (WordNet): a quality that evokes pity or sadness.

And again from The WordSmyth:

pathos: a quality in life or art that evokes pity, sadness, or compassion.

It has some more commonly-used synonyms, like pitifulness (or piteousness) and, somewhere in the middle with a slightly different bent, poignancy.

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    It's worth noting that pathetic is derived from pathos through the meaning easily affected by pathos.
    – Anonym
    Commented May 3, 2015 at 16:52

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