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

Definition of commiserate

intransitive verb

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

transitive verb

: to feel or express sorrow or compassion for

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Other Words from commiserate

commiseratingly adverb
commiseration \ kə-​ˌmi-​zə-​ˈrā-​shən How to pronounce commiserate (audio) \ noun
commiserative \ kə-​ˈmi-​zə-​ˌrā-​tiv How to pronounce commiserate (audio) \ 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Much of the activity on r/Unemployment also happens in the comments of individual posts, where people answer questions, share information and tips, or simply commiserate. New York Times, "Reddit Is America’s Unofficial Unemployment Hotline," 10 Feb. 2021 Clay returned to his motel to celebrate and commiserate with Cooke, Brown and Malcolm X. Los Angeles Times, "Leslie Odom explains why he initially passed on playing Sam Cooke in ‘One Night in Miami’," 25 Jan. 2021 After receiving word of their fate Friday morning, some employees gathered to commiserate at Dmac's Bar & Grill on Norman C. Francis Parkway. Matt Sledge,, "Jason Williams ends first week as New Orleans DA with shake-up, sends 10 packing," 15 Jan. 2021 Murray and Brian Leetch rushed to Thornton’s downtown condo to commiserate . . . Matt Porter,, "The next to wear the “C” for Bruins: Patrice Bergeron the A+ choice," 2 Jan. 2021 Before the ball drops to usher in 2021 (which hopefully isn’t so cruel), there’s no better way to commiserate than with AmazonPrime Video’s new comedy special Yearly Departed. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "'Yearly Departed' Is The Perfect Way To Say Goodbye To 2020," 31 Dec. 2020 After many American schools moved learning online in the spring, students and teachers turned to TikTok to commiserate about the struggles of being an educator. Taylor Lorenz, New York Times, "This Is Why You Heard About TikTok So Much in 2020," 31 Dec. 2020 Without the usual crush of tourists, the tip-dependent Batmans and Minnie Mouses were left to commiserate in world-colliding clusters. New York Times, "This New Year’s Eve, Times Square Will Be Filled With Hope. But Not People.," 30 Dec. 2020 One day, maybe soonish, the thrice-daily act of feeding myself won’t push me to wonder about and commiserate with our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Washington Post, "I was an air fryer skeptic, but now it’s the only thing that gets me excited about pandemic cooking," 21 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'commiserate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of commiserate

circa 1584, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for commiserate

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

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Time Traveler for commiserate

Time Traveler

The first known use of commiserate was circa 1584

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Statistics for commiserate

Last Updated

22 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Commiserate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of commiserate

formal : to express sadness or sympathy for someone who has experienced something unpleasant

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