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

Coutinho left Liverpool midway through the 2017/18 season to join up with Barcelona, but the Brazilian's time in Spain has been nothing short of miserable. SI.com, "Liverpool 'Open' to Re-Signing Philippe Coutinho From Barcelona This Summer," 30 June 2019 The reason for the miserable showing for Ohio and Kentucky and the top 10 for preventable deaths? Poisonings, which are primarily made of overdose deaths. Terry Demio, Cincinnati.com, "Ohio, Kentucky make a Top 10 list to avoid; they stand with leaders in preventable deaths," 20 Mar. 2018 Recommendation of the Week: Darkest Dungeon, by Red Hook Studios, on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita, iOS You ready to be miserable? Julie Muncy, WIRED, "Electronic Arts Says That Loot Boxes Are Basically Kinder Eggs," 21 June 2019 Deja vu all over again Spring 2018 was also miserable. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Yeah, we know it's been cold and rainy in Wisconsin. Blame the jet stream.," 17 June 2019 Nuts, banana chips, and trail mix in reusable containers can make the difference between miserable kids and save-the-Earth sightseers. Allyson Shaw, National Geographic, "Kids Take Charge: Planet Protectors," 17 June 2019 Under one roof with the greatest tragic heroine of nineteenth-century literature, the dog had led a miserable but outwardly dreamy life; under another, outwardly spartan: a new name, freedom, happiness. Dan Chiasson, The New York Review of Books, "True Mirages," 6 June 2019 The United States, perhaps very happily, is insulated from the kind of history — often a miserable history — that seems to make the Irish, Polish, or Hungarian stories seem so coherent and urgent compared with others. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Are You, or Have You Ever Been, an American?," 4 June 2019 On that basis, China’s imports from Japan are likely to look miserable in February’s data. Mike Bird, WSJ, "The Global Trade Slowdown Will Get Worse Before It Gets Better," 21 Feb. 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

12 Jul 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).


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