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

Examples of commiserate in a Sentence

"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 Lucky renters are finalizing leases, tenants are lugging paintings and pillows into the elevator while commiserating over late night clatter caused by postal trucks next door; and a group of friends huddles in a courtyard talking shop. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Aug. 2023 Los Angeles Times Where do striking actors go to eat, drink and commiserate? Sarah D. Wire, Los Angeles Times, 1 Aug. 2023 Others were more sympathetic, dropping heart emojis and commiserating. Ashley Paige, Peoplemag, 27 June 2023 Owen said many other CEOs reached out to her to commiserate after the story went viral. Claire Zillman, Fortune, 27 July 2023 Never mind that country music is — or was, a few decades back — the genre people could count on to commiserate in self-pity. Tom Roland, Billboard, 19 July 2023 But the nearly $1 million he’s earned as a college athlete through NIL isn’t commiserate with his value to the University of Texas athletic department. Time, 6 June 2023 But on the sidelines of the conference, according to an attendee, executives also commiserated over a long-simmering fight between the owners of the local TV stations, and their network partners, a fight that burst into the public eye that same month. Alex Weprin, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 July 2023 Drag queens Trixie Mattel and Jujubee commiserated being in the Dead Dads Club, offering e-support on this difficult holiday. Vulture, 19 June 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 29 Sep. 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

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