misery

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noun mis·ery \ ˈmi-zə-rē , ˈmiz-rē \

Definition of misery

plural miseries
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.

Examples of misery in a Sentence

  1. The war brought misery to thousands of refugees.

  2. They were living in overcrowded slums in conditions of great misery.

  3. a source of human misery

  4. the joy and misery of life

  5. The last years of her life were a misery.

  6. Stop being such a misery.

Recent Examples of misery from the Web

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.

First Known Use of misery

14th century

Synonym Discussion of 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


MISERY Defined for English Language Learners

misery

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noun

Definition of misery for English Language Learners

  • : extreme suffering or unhappiness

  • : something that causes extreme suffering or unhappiness

  • : a very unhappy or painful time or experience


MISERY Defined for Kids

misery

play
noun mis·ery \ ˈmi-zə-rē , ˈmiz-rē \

Definition of misery for Students

plural miseries
:great suffering or unhappiness


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