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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Arizona trailed 20-0 at halftime and looked absolutely miserable in doing so. Bob Mcmanaman, The Arizona Republic, 19 Sep. 2022 On just about every dimension, international stocks look and feel miserable. Jason Zweig, WSJ, 16 Sep. 2022 Like her costars, Kim has shared a handful of behind-the-scenes glimpses from the Squid Game set on Instagram, making those barracks look a lot less miserable. Erica Gonzales, ELLE, 13 Sep. 2022 And teachers in Columbus, Ohio, went on strike at the start of the school year complaining about large class sizes and dilapidated schools where a lack of heating and air conditioning has created miserable classroom environments. Chris Isidore, CNN, 12 Sep. 2022 Their miserable race in their homeport of Chicago in June seemed to still haunt them. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 12 Sep. 2022 Zem lays lots of groundwork for conflict, which comes in fits and starts as Moussa makes everyone around him miserable while gradually getting better himself. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Sep. 2022 On its surface, the role of Lady Constance Chatterley may sound pretty closely aligned with Corrin's quietly miserable Diana. Emma Dibdin, Town & Country, 7 Sep. 2022 Part of that is, of course, the miserable shooting numbers (which goes beyond just 3-point shooting, and is pretty bad across most of his halfcourt offense jumper attempts). Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, 6 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

22 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Miserable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/miserable. Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for miserable


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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