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

April was fairly miserable for the Rangers, who went 10-17. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Rangers Reaction: Youngsters keep composure after ninth-inning collapse | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 1 May 2018 After a miserable 24-win season that included owner Mark Cuban being fined for saying the Mavericks needed to tank, Dallas wound up with the No. Alysha Tsuji, For The Win, "Dirk Nowitzki and Mavericks seemed so sad on Twitter after 2018 NBA draft lottery," 15 May 2018 And yet as good as that benchmark felt, after a few more weeks, the thought of keeping the whole thing up any longer was too miserable to bear. Kate Branch, Vogue, "Weight Watchers Can Change Its Name—But for This Reformed Dieter, It Still Says “Thinner Is Better”," 27 Sep. 2018 Sports fandom mostly means being absolutely miserable. Charlotte Wilder, SI.com, "In a Season to Remember, Las Vegas Knights Fans Experience The Agony of Defeat," 8 June 2018 The new First Lady was, in fact, miserable on Inauguration Day. Tess Koman, Cosmopolitan, "5 Bombshell Revelations About Donald & Melania's Relationship From New, Behind-the-Scenes Book," 4 Jan. 2018 These cows lived in nearby stables amid miserable conditions–most only survived for a few months–and produced a sickly, bluish milk. Daniel Fernandez, Smithsonian, "The Surprisingly Intolerant History of Milk," 11 May 2018 Painstakingly, Peri eventually managed to express milk by hand, but the whole experience was miserable, her fear of mastitis and her anger at the algorithms surfacing pornography masquerading as women’s health colliding in an airport bathroom. Jenna Sauers, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Women Really Quit Breastfeeding," 17 July 2018 This world will be better, but not if everybody is miserable. Recode Staff, Recode, "Journalist and author Annie Lowrey wants you to understand that universal basic income isn’t crazy," 16 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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Last Updated

8 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for miserable

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

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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).


to express emotion in a dramatic way

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