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

View Sample Sign Up Now Economic Losses Jakarta’s miserable traffic is a result of the city’s overwhelming importance in the nation’s economy. Arys Aditya And Tassia Sipahutar / Bloomberg, Time, "Indonesia Plans to Move Its Capital to the Island of Borneo," 26 Aug. 2019 Doing malicious things and making her life miserable. Terra Newell, PEOPLE.com, "Stepdaughter Who Killed 'Dirty John' Meehan in Self-Defense Reflects on Notorious Abuser 3 Years Later," 20 Aug. 2019 Lippman’s own last year as a reporter was miserable. Christina Tkacik, baltimoresun.com, "How 2 unrelated deaths from 1969 inspired Baltimore crime novelist Laura Lippman’s ‘Lady in the Lake’," 23 July 2019 Then Jed knocked on the door, looking miserable, as the producers had obviously briefed him about what to expect. Emily Yahr, chicagotribune.com, "‘The Bachelorette’ finale implodes as Hannah breaks up with the ‘winner’ for lying about another woman," 31 July 2019 Dong Xi, translation by Dylan Levi King The novel tells the story of one man’s miserable life during the Cultural Revolution. Amanda Shendruk, Quartzy, "Here’s what every Chinese book recently translated for the US is about," 27 July 2019 Car commuting, on the other hand, makes people miserable, unhealthy and violent. Eben Weiss, Outside Online, "Why You Should Care That Fewer Kids Are Riding Bikes," 25 July 2019 First wife Ha has one son already (Nguyen Thanh Tam), now of age to be married himself and miserable about it, but since then, nothing but girls. Ty Burr, BostonGlobe.com, "A beguiling and hermetic world in ‘The Third Wife’," 3 July 2019 Some plants are just plain miserable, especially sun-lovers like lantana and geraniums, which may actually be drowned and starved for sunlight. Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, Indianapolis Star, "The Hoosier Gardener: Some plants hard to find this spring," 13 June 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.

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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

6 Sep 2019

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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 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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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).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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