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 But how miserable are those who fall and don’t have a companion to help them up! Alexa Tucker, Woman's Day, 1 June 2022 However, there are some people who are downright miserable with themselves that try to create toxicity for others. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 13 May 2022 But, thanks to products like camping pillows and sleeping pads, the experience doesn't have to be totally miserable. Emily Belfiore, Travel + Leisure, 10 May 2022 But predicting economic expansions and recessions is notoriously difficult, and the Fed has been historically miserable at it. Allison Morrow, CNN, 6 May 2022 The weather was so miserable that a majority of the group, and even the hearty guide, voted to stop the tour. Christopher Muther, BostonGlobe.com, 21 Apr. 2022 And if the Lakers weren’t already miserable enough, there is this: The team that passed them for the final spot in the Western Conference play-in tournament (the Spurs) will have three first-round draft picks this summer. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, 7 Apr. 2022 The whole squad is primed for a good life and yet each is miserable in such a relentlessly benign way that their acquiescence turns the crime itself into a joyless affair, The Thomas Crown Affair as mumblecore. Tod Goldberg, USA TODAY, 6 Apr. 2022 Discovering this mythic-level altruism was physically miserable. Washington Post, 21 Mar. 2022 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

6 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Miserable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/miserable. Accessed 29 Jun. 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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