misery

noun
mis·ery | \ ˈmi-zə-rē , ˈmiz-rē \
plural miseries

Definition of misery 

1 : a state of suffering and want that is the result of poverty or affliction War brought misery to thousands of refugees.

2 : a circumstance, thing, or place that causes suffering or discomfort the joys and miseries of life

3 : a state of great unhappiness and emotional distress My former boss made my life a misery.

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Synonyms & Antonyms for misery

Synonyms

agony, Gehenna, hell, horror, murder, nightmare, torment, torture

Antonyms

heaven, paradise

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Choose the Right Synonym for misery

distress, suffering, misery, agony mean the state of being in great trouble. distress implies an external and usually temporary cause of great physical or mental strain and stress. the hurricane put everyone in great distress suffering implies conscious endurance of pain or distress. the suffering of famine victims misery stresses the unhappiness attending especially sickness, poverty, or loss. the homeless live with misery every day agony suggests pain too intense to be borne. in agony over the death of their child

Examples of misery in a Sentence

The war brought misery to thousands of refugees. They were living in overcrowded slums in conditions of great misery. a source of human misery the joy and misery of life The last years of her life were a misery. Stop being such a misery.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Strahovski was a revelation, actually making us empathize with Serena Joy Waterford, an architect of Gilead and a woman who has imposed a massive amount of misery throughout the show’s run. Glenn Whipp, latimes.com, "Emmy snubs and surprises: New faces are in, old institutions are out and Sandra Oh makes history," 12 July 2018 England’s unlikely run to this World Cup semifinal, after decades of gaffes, disappointment and misery, has the country buzzing about the possibility that this team could win its first World Cup in more than 50 years. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "England’s Hottest Fashion Item: Gareth Southgate’s Waistcoat," 9 July 2018 Slovenia is undoubtedly not one of my fondest trips to recall, simply due to the hours of abject misery I was subjected to throughout my time there. SI.com, "90Min World Cup Fan Diaries: Starting to Believe," 8 July 2018 With a fresh generation of players not burdened by past misery, England coach Gareth Southgate has helped to banish painful memories of his own: Missing the final kick at Euro '96 against Germany. Fox News, "England break World Cup shootout jinx, advance to quarterfinals," 3 July 2018 These are very difficult times for farmworkers and Latinos, especially those seeking asylum to save their children from violence and threats of death, those who want to give their children a better life, not overwhelmed by poverty and misery. San Antonio Express-News, "Archbishop’s homily remembers refugees, César Chávez," 1 July 2018 Unfortunately, misery alone is difficult to quantify. Nick Stockton, WIRED, "Traffic Doesn’t Hurt the Economy—But We Should Still Fix It," 26 June 2018 Whatever misery this mess brings will lay squarely at the feet of the President. Molly Ball, Time, "Trump Backed Down, But the Crisis at the Border Is Far From Over," 21 June 2018 So is all of this close-hitting misery worth the toll The Handmaid’s Tale takes on viewers? Laura Bradley, HWD, "The Handmaid’s Tale Writer Breaks Down the Series’s Most Brutal Episode Yet," 20 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'misery.' 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 misery

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for misery

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for misery

The first known use of misery was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for misery

misery

noun

English Language Learners Definition of misery

: extreme suffering or unhappiness

: something that causes extreme suffering or unhappiness

: a very unhappy or painful time or experience

misery

noun
mis·ery | \ ˈmi-zə-rē , ˈmiz-rē \
plural miseries

Kids Definition of misery

: great suffering or unhappiness

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More from Merriam-Webster on misery

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for misery

Spanish Central: Translation of misery

Nglish: Translation of misery for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of misery for Arabic Speakers

Comments on misery

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alleviating pain or harshness

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