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 commiseration (audio) \ noun
commiserative \ kə-​ˈmi-​zə-​ˌrā-​tiv How to pronounce commiserative (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 On Twitter, struggling writers commiserate with one another, taking vocational pride in the pain, hoping that the false starts and hideous metaphors will eventually be hidden, like a ballerina’s disfigured foot, in finished beauty. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, "Kate Zambreno’s Present Tense," 5 Aug. 2020 In the meantime, the Groveland, Florida, resident decided to form a Facebook group to commiserate with other customers in monetary limbo. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "Their cruises were canceled months ago. These customers are still waiting on refunds.," 29 June 2020 On Thursday, however, the Courier Journal Sports Awards presented by Baptist Health Sports Medicine aired in order to honor those who played and commiserate with those who couldn't. Kelly Ward, The Courier-Journal, "Check out the complete list of 2019-20 Courier Journal Sports Awards winners," 18 June 2020 His restraint demonstrated not just the ability to commemorate and commiserate with his Jewish compatriots, but also a willingness to forget, for a moment, his own perspective as a Palestinian. Omri Boehm, The New York Review of Books, "After Liberal Zionism, the One Hope for a Democratic Israel," 9 June 2020 Leaning on one another to commiserate, to find relief in one another’s stories, to just be, to celebrate the small victories, and to share ideas for how to get through this is critically important. Stacie Hagenbaugh, Quartz at Work, "Lessons for the class of 2020 from the class of 2008," 2 June 2020 Many components of the lifestyle didn’t budge – losing their husbands or boyfriends for hours and hours and commiserating in their on-track woes – but others didn’t. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, "With the IndyCar iRacing Challenge complete, wives and girlfriends are taking the wheel," 22 May 2020 At least our kids have other kids to play w/ & Juliet has other women to commiserate w/ over warm white wine. New York Times, "‘Sea Wife,’ by Amity Gaige: An Excerpt," 6 May 2020 Recently, these meetings function more like wellness checks during which employees talk through the ins and outs of filing for unemployment insurance, or just commiserate about toilet paper shortages or homeschooling rowdy kids. Lexy Lebsack,, "Hairstylists Might Go Back To Work, But Their Jobs Will Never Be The Same," 29 Apr. 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

8 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Commiserate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for commiserate


How to pronounce commiserate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of commiserate

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on commiserate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for commiserate

Spanish Central: Translation of commiserate

Nglish: Translation of commiserate for Spanish Speakers

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