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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web The Godzilla of pop culture emerges from the sea to make life miserable for humans, and this wasp does the same for moth caterpillars. Matt Simon, Wired, "‘Godzilla’ Wasp Swims—So Its Young Can Burst Out of Caterpillars," 9 Nov. 2020 Make life miserable for undocumented immigrants, ban affirmative action, then end bilingual education. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Latino ambivalence about affirmative action could doom Prop. 16," 30 Oct. 2020 Goats are herd animals and are miserable if made to live alone without caprine companionship. Joan Donaldson, The Christian Science Monitor, "A feathered member of the herd," 4 Nov. 2020 Does this more heavily reflect defensive improvement by the Cowboys, or a largely miserable night for Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz? Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, "Eagles outlast Cowboys, extend NFC East lead in sloppy win," 2 Nov. 2020 The 1976 Sox were miserable, losing 97 games in Richards' one and only season. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Tony La Russa hiring proves Jerry Reinsdorf is still the boss of the Chicago White Sox," 29 Oct. 2020 Nobody should be thrown out of the family or made miserable over this. Paul Elie, The New Yorker, "Pope Francis Supports Same-Sex Civil Unions, but the Church Must Do More," 25 Oct. 2020 But that doesn't mean your fall and winter have to be miserable. Holly Yan, CNN, "7 ways to stay healthy (and sane) during the fall coronavirus surge," 17 Oct. 2020 Despite her family’s wealth and political connections (her uncle was Theodore Roosevelt), the childhood of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, born in Manhattan in 1884, was, as Mr. Michaelis details, miserable. Susan Butler, WSJ, "‘Eleanor’ Review: First Lady of the World," 1 Oct. 2020

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

20 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Miserable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/miserable. Accessed 23 Nov. 2020.

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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.

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