Contemptible, despicable, pitiable, sorry, scurvy, cheap, beggarly, shabby are comparable when they mean arousing or deserving scorn or disdain.
Contemptible applies to whatever inspires such scorn or disdain for any reason however great or small.
Despicable is a stronger term and frequently implies both keen and scornful, sometimes indignant, disapprobation and a sufficient cause for such a reaction.
Pitiable (see also PITIFUL) implies the inspiring of pity mixed with contempt.
Sorry is often used interchangeably with pitiable without marked loss, but it often distinctively implies contemptible or ridiculous inadequacy, wretchedness, or sordidness.
Scurvy implies extreme despicability and meanness and the arousing of disgust as well as scornful contempt.
Cheap often implies contemptibility that results from undue familiarity or accessibility.
More often, however, cheap and beggarly imply contemptible pettiness, cheap by falling far below the standard of what is worthy, beggarly by its remoteness from what is adequate.
Shabby comes close to cheap and beggarly in implying contemptible pettiness and to scurvy in implying meanness and the arousing of disgust; distinctively it may stress the poverty, the paltriness, or the ungenerous nature of what is so characterized.