com·​mis·​er·​ate kə-ˈmi-zə-ˌrāt How to pronounce commiserate (audio)
commiserated; commiserating

intransitive verb

: to feel or express sympathy : condole
commiserates with them on their loss

transitive verb

: to feel or express sorrow or compassion for
commiseratingly adverb
commiseration noun
commiserative adjective

Example Sentences

"Did you enjoy your breakfast?" "The eggs were runny." "I know." The woman commiserated. "I was thinking, I should just have barged into the kitchen and done them myself." Alice Munro, Runaway, (2004) 2005
The other potters seemed to slump as one into dejection, all but abandoning their work in favor of long, lugubrious visits to the wine shop, where they commiserated with one another. Linda Sue Park, A Single Shard, (2001) 2003
"I been readin' about it," she said, referring to the recent breakup of my marriage.  … "It's too bad," she commiserated. Arthur Miller, Timebends, 1987
The pain of losing is diverting. So is the thrill of winning. Winning, however, is lonelier, because those you've taken money from are not apt to commiserate with you. David Mamet, New York Times Magazine, 20 Apr. 1986
The players commiserated over their loss in the championship game.
Recent Examples on the Web As the subject of the original ugly crying meme, Kardashian hopped into the comments section of the post to commiserate. Glenn Rowley, Billboard, 5 Apr. 2023 And with the recent rise of virtual work, many of us no longer have the opportunity to commiserate with colleagues around the water cooler to bemoan the latest workplace annoyance. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 7 Oct. 2022 But even students who haven’t been involved in the campaign have other venues to laugh at and commiserate about it. Willy Blackmore, Curbed, 25 Mar. 2022 Though new to San Diego, the Texas transplant can commiserate with a certain breed of local sports enthusiasts: The Chargers fans who feel stymied by the owner of their favorite NFL team. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Apr. 2023 On Facebook, some people -- including one from Los Angeles -- commiserated over the destruction of trees that stood in the 1,700-acre park. Paige Eichkorn, Arkansas Online, 1 May 2023 Nearby, Laurent Pinet, part of Paris F.C.’s small cohort of regular fans, commiserated with a friend about the team’s struggles to attract a following. Tariq Panja James Hill, New York Times, 1 May 2023 Lance, the No. 3 pick in 2021 whose career includes 54.9 completion percentage, four starts and several injuries, can commiserate with Darnold. Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, 13 Mar. 2023 Within the first 10 minutes of arrival at host hotel Loews Miami Beach one could easily trip over Emeril Lagasse, Guy Fieri, Marc Vetri, Stephanie Izard, Jet Tila and Graham Elliot casually commiserating about the challenges of the food world, taking selfies, signing autographs and checking in. Melinda Sheckells, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'commiserate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin commiseratus, past participle of commiserari, from com- + miserari to pity, from miser wretched

First Known Use

circa 1584, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of commiserate was circa 1584

Dictionary Entries Near commiserate

Cite this Entry

“Commiserate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


com·​mis·​er·​ate kə-ˈmiz-ə-ˌrāt How to pronounce commiserate (audio)
commiserated; commiserating
: to feel or express sorrow or sympathy : sympathize
commiseration noun

More from Merriam-Webster on commiserate

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!