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

Other Words from miserable

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 His interest in management stems from working in a grocery store at age 16, where some managers were fun to work for, while others made life miserable. Michael B. Arthur, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2022 But don’t withhold the rent just yet — an annoyed crypto landlord could take retaliatory action and make your life miserable. Devorah Blachor, The New Yorker, 17 Mar. 2022 Woodward's defense made life miserable for a Chaminade Julienne offense that was held under 60 points for the first time in the tournament. Shelby Dermer, The Enquirer, 3 Mar. 2022 Michael Roth, head of the the German parliament’s foreign affairs committee, said the best hope for causing pain to Putin will not be making life miserable for the average Russian on the street. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 24 Feb. 2022 Investors are understandably worried that slower earnings growth and rising interest rates will make 2022 miserable for stocks. Justin Lahart, WSJ, 3 Feb. 2022 The developer appeared motivated to make a statement about large companies profiting off of his work for free, but in the process made life pretty miserable for users of all stripes. Brian Barrett, Wired, 15 Jan. 2022 In France, President Emmanuel Macron drew criticism for saying the government should make life miserable for the unvaccinated. New York Times, 9 Jan. 2022 But look for the 49ers defense to make life a lot more miserable for Davis Mills and Rex Burkhead. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 27 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

25 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Miserable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/miserable. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for miserable


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on miserable

Nglish: Translation of miserable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of miserable for Arabic Speakers


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