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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web That said, there are a variety of efforts now underway that offer new prospects for at least making what seems like the inevitable hardship of getting from place to place somewhat more pleasant (or at least less miserable). Matt Gross, Sunset Magazine, "Will San Francisco’s Car Ban End Traffic in the West?," 29 Jan. 2020 The selfishness is miserable for anyone to be around, let alone to be married to her. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "Meghan King Edmonds Says Stepkids 'Poisoned' with False Information: 'Hopefully They'll Come Back'," 25 Jan. 2020 Make no mistake: the Bruins are miserable in shootouts. BostonGlobe.com, "A 3-2 shootout loss to the Islanders was the seventh setback in eight games for the Bruins (21-7-8), in a matchup of the second- and third-best teams in the East.," 20 Dec. 2019 This library with bookshelves that seem to stretch on forever feels like the perfect escape from this miserable weather. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "5 things to know for December 17: Impeachment, Boeing, Pakistan, tornadoes, Russia," 17 Dec. 2019 Questions remain about the offense, but the Patriots defense did a number on the Cowboys’ potent attack in miserable weather at Gillette Stadium as the Patriots reached 10 wins for the 17th consecutive season. Brad Biggs, chicagotribune.com, "NFL power rankings for Week 13: The No. 1 Ravens and No. 2 49ers will meet on Sunday; Bears inch back into top 20," 26 Nov. 2019 Friday’s relatively miserable weather makes way for a beautiful fall weekend, with sunny skies and high temperatures in the 60s on Saturday and Sunday. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Here’s when the cold front will hit Houston on Friday," 22 Nov. 2019 Avoid the miserable weather: 29 indoor trick or treating sites to save your Halloween Trick-or-Treating hours: For Indianapolis area for Halloween 2019 Call IndyStar reporter Justin L. Mack at 317-444-6138. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Happy Halloween! It's snowing.," 31 Oct. 2019 Building an identity Playing in miserable weather for the second consecutive week, Kentucky’s defense continued its upward trajectory by holding Missouri to 289 yards and forcing four fumbles, two of which were recovered. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Lynn Bowden comes up big, defense trends upward in Kentucky football's win over Missouri," 27 Oct. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about miserable

Time Traveler for miserable

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for miserable

Last Updated

8 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Miserable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/miserableness. Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for miserable


How to pronounce miserable (audio)

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!