mis·er·a·ble | \ˈmi-zər-bəl, ˈmiz-rə-, ˈmi-zə-rə-\

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

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Other Words from miserable

miserable noun
miserableness noun
miserably \-blē \ 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

As Americans see it, the last two Democratic presidencies have been rousing successes, while the previous two Republican ones have been miserable failures. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Poll: Barack Obama Was the Greatest President of Our Lifetime," 11 July 2018 The Ivorian's miserable night was compounded by being brandished a yellow card early in the second half after a challenge on Alex Sandro. SI.com, "Dismal Serge Aurier to Miss Return Leg Against Juventus After Picking up a Yellow Card," 14 Feb. 2018 And a miserable, forgettable night by SDSU senior captain Trey Kell (2 of 14 shooting and primary defensive duties on Hutchison). Mark Zeigler, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Aztecs put up fight but lose at Boise State," 13 Jan. 2018 Give us messy, give us miserable, give us monstrous. Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY, "Why calling women 'strong female leads' is degrading," 2 July 2018 Three thousand years ago, a horse in Mongolia had a toothache that was probably making it—and its owner—miserable. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "3000-year-old sawn-off tooth may be the earliest evidence of horse dentistry," 2 July 2018 The ivy that snaked across the bookshelf and over the desk had started out as a miserable thing, cut back by a patient and given to Flaherty as both a prop and a gift: Its puny sprouts were meant to symbolize how ravaged the patient felt. Eric Boodman, STAT, "It’s not ‘all in your head’: When other doctors give up on patients, a boundary-breaking neurologist treats them," 19 June 2018 The defense will be outstanding and will make life miserable for opposing offenses. Jamie Samuelsen, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football or Michigan State, who is better? It's an easy call," 10 July 2018 Making Trump officials miserable doesn’t solve anything. Paul Thornton, latimes.com, "Be uncivil. Resist Trump. But don't go crazy," 30 June 2018

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.

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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

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Phrases Related to miserable

(as) guilty/miserable/ugly as sin

Statistics for miserable

Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for miserable

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

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More Definitions for miserable



English Language Learners Definition of miserable

: very unhappy

: very sick or unwell

: very severe or unpleasant


mis·er·a·ble | \ˈmi-zə-rə-bəl, 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.

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Comments on miserable

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