miserable

adjective
mis·​er·​a·​ble | \ ˈmi-zər-bəl, ˈmiz-rə-, ˈmi-zə-rə- How to pronounce miserable (audio) \

Definition of miserable

1 : being in a pitiable state of distress or unhappiness (as from want or shame) miserable refugees
2a : 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 country— Joyce Winslow

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from miserable

miserable noun
miserableness noun
miserably \ ˈmi-​zər-​blē , ˈmiz-​rə-​ , ˈmi-​zə-​rə-​ How to pronounce miserably (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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web After being scratched from two consecutive games in early March, a miserable Pavelich skipped two practices and a game. John Rosengren, Washington Post, "An Olympic Hockey Hero, a Violent Crime and the Specter of Brain Trauma," 12 Feb. 2020 With a poor punctuality performance by international standards and a high cancellation rate, commuting by rail in Britain is often a miserable experience. The Economist, "Rail HS2 and the return of the fat controller," 6 Feb. 2020 On the night that United States Special Forces Operators ended Al‑Baghdadi’s miserable life, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, received a call in the Situation Room. Sanya Mansoor, Time, "Read the Full Transcript of President Trump's 2020 State of the Union Address," 5 Feb. 2020 On the night that United States Special Forces Operators ended Al‑Baghdadi’s miserable life, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, received a call in the Situation Room. WSJ, "Full Text of President Trump’s 2020 State of the Union Speech," 5 Feb. 2020 Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport ranks among the most miserable airports, according to a study from Value Penguin. Briana Rice, Cincinnati.com, "CVG airport ranks among most miserable airports, study says," 4 Feb. 2020 He was tied for the lead Friday night, but a miserable weekend left him tied for 45th. Eamon Lynch, azcentral, "Jordan Spieth out of Phoenix Open, but not down after signs of progress in second round," 31 Jan. 2020 Houstonians should brace for a miserable wet and soggy Wednesday, with light rain expected to pour over the area into Thursday morning. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Houston in for a wet and soggy Wednesday; up to 2 inches of rain possible," 22 Jan. 2020 One of the main drumbeats of their opposition is that women lead miserable lives full of regret following their decisions to have abortions. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Michelle Williams's Speech Is a Reminder to Stop Expecting Women to Regret Their Abortions," 17 Jan. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of miserable

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for miserable

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about miserable

Time Traveler for miserable

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for miserable

Last Updated

22 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Miserable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/miserable. Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for miserable

miserable

adjective
How to pronounce miserable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of miserable

: very unhappy
: very sick or unwell
: very severe or unpleasant

miserable

adjective
mis·​er·​a·​ble | \ ˈmi-zə-rə-bəl How to pronounce miserable (audio) , ˈmi-zər-bəl \

Kids Definition of miserable

1 : very unhappy or distressed The stranded passengers were miserable.
2 : causing great discomfort a miserable cold
3 : very unsatisfactory miserable weather

Other Words from miserable

miserably \ -​blē \ adverb We failed miserably.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on miserable

What made you want to look up miserable? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!