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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web But here was Charles, her own child, who seemed miserable and unable to thrive with remote learning. New York Times, 13 May 2021 Conditions were increasingly miserable in Gaza, already struggling with deteriorating infrastructure and a coronavirus outbreak. Los Angeles Times, 19 May 2021 According to Courteney Cox, filming that scene was actually pretty miserable. Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, 6 May 2021 Moments later, Dallas Mavericks backup point guard Trey Burke tossed in a 50-foot runner to beat the buzzer -- the capper on a sluggish and miserable first quarter. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 8 May 2021 Her employment at the institute—where the rest of the helpers notched between ancient and miserable—was the subject of much debate among the children, the theories ranging from altruism to murder. Ew Staff, EW.com, 4 May 2021 Being alone in New York City in the time of COVID-19 is lonely and miserable. Margie Goldsmith Next Avenue February 24, Star Tribune, 24 Feb. 2021 For winter sports, for hunters, for workers who spend long hours on the job, a heated vest can mean the difference between time spent shivering and miserable and time spent being productive and happy. Outdoor Life, 23 Feb. 2021 But the gem of the collection is a portrait of his portly Swiss-French governess, Mademoiselle, who specialized in feeling proud and miserable. Phillip Lopate, WSJ, 11 Dec. 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

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

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Last Updated

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Miserable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/miserable. Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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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.

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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