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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The United States, perhaps very happily, is insulated from the kind of history — often a miserable history — that seems to make the Irish, Polish, or Hungarian stories seem so coherent and urgent compared with others. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Are You, or Have You Ever Been, an American?," 4 June 2019 On that basis, China’s imports from Japan are likely to look miserable in February’s data. Mike Bird, WSJ, "The Global Trade Slowdown Will Get Worse Before It Gets Better," 21 Feb. 2019 When in doubt, don't light that campfire Given the miserable winter the West had this year, camping this summer feels like pitching a tent in the middle of a tinderbox. Joe Jackson, Outside Online, "8 Tips for (Responsibly) Camping in Fire Season," 22 June 2018 Mason, slowed by a toe injury, had a miserable first half. Jim Meehan, The Seattle Times, "Brandon Clarke put on a superhuman display to help Gonzaga advance to the Sweet 16. Can he keep it up?," 24 Mar. 2019 Nearly 30 years ago, a mathematician and a psychologist teamed up to explore one of life’s enduring mysteries: What makes some marriages happy and some miserable? Jo Craven Mcginty, WSJ, "The Math Behind Successful Relationships," 8 Feb. 2019 Dumbo's only friend in this miserable existence is a mouse named Timothy, who discovers Dumbo can fly and stages an elaborate stunt at a circus performance one night to prove it. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "New trailer for Disney’s live-action Dumbo captures magic of original," 15 Nov. 2018 Georgia Tech got off to a miserable start offensively, trailing 21-0 at halftime, but still had a chance to pull off the victory. Paul Newberry, The Seattle Times, "Ga Tech in deep hole, and it only gets tougher with Clemson," 18 Sep. 2018 Messi endured a miserable start to the tournament, under-performing as Argentina managed just a single point from its first two games, to put it in serious danger of being knocked out before the knockout stage. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Watch Lionel Messi's sublime early goal against Nigeria," 26 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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Dictionary Entries near miserable

Misenum

miser

miserabilism

miserable

misère

miserere

misericord

Statistics for miserable

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for miserable

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

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More Definitions for miserable

miserable

adjective

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.

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Comments on miserable

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