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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Even more ruinous to the state GOP was Proposition 187, the landmark 1994 ballot initiative that sought to make life miserable for immigrants without legal status. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, "Column: In recall of governor, is California GOP smoking an exploding cigar?," 2 Apr. 2021 Then: Having made practice miserable for his teammates with lockdown defense, Clark wasn’t much of a factor in games, logging only a handful of minutes. Los Angeles Times, "You say you want an evolution? Look at how far UCLA’s players have come," 2 Apr. 2021 And one theme of the book is that this winner-take-all economy makes life miserable not just for people in the losing cities but, to some degree, for the people in the winning cities as well. Gilad Edelman, Wired, "Amazon Has Made Rich Cities Richer—and Also More Dystopian," 17 Mar. 2021 Colorado made life miserable for OSU inside, as the Buffaloes turned six offensive rebounds into 11 points. oregonlive, "Oregon State secures an NCAA tournament berth after beating Colorado 70-68 for Pac-12 tournament championship," 13 Mar. 2021 In the case of a government loan, the government can garnish wages, seize assets, and make life miserable for a borrower who misses a payment. Scott Macdonald, Fortune, "Why schools need to be accountable for overextending student loans," 12 Mar. 2021 Peter is miserable in his current state of purgatory and because of this uses Owen to do his bidding. Shannon Carlin, refinery29.com, "The Haunting of Bly Manor," 13 Oct. 2020 Geno Auriemma was likely miserable Tuesday evening, the day of his 67th birthday. Alexa Philippou, courant.com, "The UConn women gave Geno Auriemma the best birthday gift of all: a Sweet 16 berth, so that Auriemma can finally rejoin the team," 24 Mar. 2021 Nobody should be thrown out or made miserable over it. Danielle Campoamor, refinery29.com, "For No Reason At All, Here’s A Reminder That The Vatican Covered Up A Global Pedophilia Problem," 15 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for miserable

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for miserable

Last Updated

19 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Miserable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/miserable. Accessed 23 Apr. 2021.

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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 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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