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

The trio of Noah Dickerson, Sam Timmins and Hameir Wright made life miserable for Bassey, who scored 11 points on 5-for-9 shooting. Percy Allen, The Seattle Times, "Three takeaways from Washington’s 73-55 season-opening win over Western Kentucky," 7 Nov. 2018 But there’s no reason to live with feeling lethargic, fatigued, and miserable. Korin Miller, SELF, "Houston Astros Pitcher Josh James Discovered His 'Laziness' Was Actually a Symptom of Sleep Apnea," 19 Oct. 2018 These two programs will probably stay separate and turn into separate planes thanks to the miserable experience of the F-35. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "What You Need To Know About the Air Force and Navy's Next Fighter Jets," 18 July 2018 President Obama’s health care law experienced miserable polling numbers in the initial years after its 2010 passage, with more people disapproving of the Affordable Care Act than approving of it, according to the Kaiser Health Tracking Poll. Neil Irwin, New York Times, "Two Words That Could Shape the Politics of the Trade War: Loss Aversion," 13 July 2018 Matt Bushman, Brigham Young Bushman provided a bright spot during an otherwise miserable season in 2017. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "The 10 best tight ends in college football," 13 July 2018 Summer is just getting started, and there’s no telling how many more miserable heat waves are coming our way. Steve Lopez, latimes.com, "He handed water to homeless people when temps topped 100. Some Silver Lake neighbors jeered, others cheered," 11 July 2018 Scouting report: Alabama Coach Nick Saban is mired in another miserable summer, swamped with the decision between a four-star quarterback who led Alabama into last year’s national championship game and a five-star quarterback who won it. Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, "How Louisville football can (and can't) beat Alabama," 2 July 2018 Growing pains Rougned Odor: His task is to make everyone — the Rangers, the league, the fans — forget his miserable 2017. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "In a development season for Rangers, how is the development going?," 2 July 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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Statistics for miserable

Last Updated

15 Nov 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

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


a private place of worship

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