ˈmi-zə-rə- How to pronounce miserable (audio)
: being in a pitiable state of distress or unhappiness (as from want or shame)
miserable refugees
: wretchedly inadequate or meager (see meager sense 2)
a miserable hovel
: causing extreme discomfort or unhappiness
a miserable situation
miserable weather
his miserable childhood
: 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
ˈmi-zə-rə- How to pronounce miserable (audio)

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 New habits are making more commutes miserable Here are seven way the region’s commute has changed in the pandemic era. Michael Laris, Washington Post, 22 Sep. 2023 Eating ice cream fast is weirdly unpleasant at best and miserable at worst. Peter Chakerian, cleveland, 19 Sep. 2023 The Tide, trailing the Bulls 3-0, had a miserable first quarter before the weather intervened. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 16 Sep. 2023 Brooks got under the skin of Doncic, making life miserable for him throughout the game. oregonlive, 6 Sep. 2023 When a company is infected with this warped mindset, burnout sets in and turnover soars, unless the pay compensates for the miserable atmosphere. Lila MacLellan, Fortune, 5 Sep. 2023 Yes, the internet has predictably gone all in, righteously dunking on the people who paid untold sums for a pilgrimage to the desert only to get trapped in miserable conditions. Erika D. Smith, Los Angeles Times, 4 Sep. 2023 Had Huntley gone low and punched over the goal line instead of losing his grip on the ball, the Bengals’ season might have come to an early, miserable end. Childs Walker, Baltimore Sun, 14 Sep. 2023 Yet dozens of mostly Black and Latin kids with ear gauges and neck tats snaked around the building, enduring miserable temperatures while the 10 freeway roared above them. August Brown, Los Angeles Times, 12 Sep. 2023 See More

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


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 30 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on miserable

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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