miserable

adjective

mis·​er·​a·​ble
ˈmi-zər-bəl,
ˈmiz-rə-,
ˈmi-zə-rə- How to pronounce miserable (audio)
1
: being in a pitiable state of distress or unhappiness (as from want or shame)
miserable refugees
2
a
: wretchedly inadequate or meager (see meager sense 2)
a miserable hovel
b
: causing extreme discomfort or unhappiness
a miserable situation
miserable weather
his miserable childhood
3
: being likely to discredit or shame
his miserable neglect of his wife
had a miserable, snide contempt for our countryJoyce Winslow
miserable noun
miserableness noun
miserably
ˈmi-zər-blē
ˈmiz-rə-
ˈmi-zə-rə- How to pronounce miserable (audio)
adverb

Examples of miserable in a Sentence

He had a miserable childhood. My boss is making my life thoroughly miserable with her constant demands and criticism. He felt lonely and miserable after his divorce. I've had a miserable cold for the past week. He lived in a miserable little shack.
Recent Examples on the Web So Richmond's one-day-hotter stat doesn't include temperatures for the last decade-plus, including the miserable thus-far summer 2024. Karri Peifer, Axios, 12 July 2024 Reed, 25, becomes the latest veteran to join a lowly Pistons squad hoping to forget a miserable 14-68 season in 2024-25. Aron Solomon, Newsweek, 10 July 2024 Such readings, often depending on the individual, may be characterized as miserable. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 5 July 2024 Even so, Labour’s victory ends a miserable time on the political sidelines as the Conservative government imposed years of austerity and led the UK out of the European Union, triggering political turmoil. Prarthana Prakash, Fortune Europe, 5 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for miserable 

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin miserabilis wretched, pitiable, from miserari to pity, from miser

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of miserable was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near miserable

Cite this Entry

“Miserable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/miserable. Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

miserable

adjective
mis·​er·​a·​ble ˈmiz-ər-bəl How to pronounce miserable (audio)
ˈmiz-(ə-)rə-bəl
1
a
: shabby in condition or quality
a miserable place to live
b
: causing great discomfort or unhappiness
a miserable cold
2
: extremely poor or unhappy : wretched
3
miserableness noun
miserably adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on miserable

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!