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miserable Syllabification: mis·er·a·ble
Pronunciation: /ˈmiz(ə)rəb(ə)l/

Definition of miserable in English:


1(Of a person) wretchedly unhappy or uncomfortable: their happiness made Anne feel even more miserable
More example sentences
  • They go in with their boyfriends and they're miserable, uncomfortable and they just want to go.
  • It's no different when someone is miserable and depressed.
  • So he'd helped his miserable friend console his woe begotten soul with some more hard liquor until he'd passed out.
1.1(Of a situation or environment) causing someone to feel wretchedly unhappy or uncomfortable: horribly wet and miserable conditions
More example sentences
  • In general it was a day for the hardiest of souls as combination of biting cold and persistent flurries of rain made conditions thoroughly miserable for spectators and players alive.
  • Illegal workers have to accept terribly low wages, miserable working conditions, and essentially no benefits.
  • Their social and economic conditions were made miserable.
dreary, dismal, gloomy, drab, wretched, depressing, grim, cheerless, bleak, desolate;
poor, shabby, squalid, seedy, dilapidated
informal flea-bitten, skeevy
unpleasant, disagreeable, depressing;
wet, rainy, stormy
informal rotten
1.2(Of a person) habitually morose: a miserable man in his late sixties
More example sentences
  • He was miserable and moody, frustrated and just plain rude, insulting anyone who gave him the slightest reason.
  • Paunchy, miserable, humourless, he'd be dour if he weren't too depressed to summon up the energy.
  • Jack's right hand man is a miserable bad tempered individual with several years of service behind him.
grumpy, sullen, gloomy, bad-tempered, ill-tempered, ill-natured, dour, surly, sour, glum, moody, unsociable, saturnine, lugubrious, irritable, churlish, cantankerous, crotchety, cross, crabby, cranky, grouchy, testy, peevish, crusty, waspish
2Pitiably small or inadequate: all they pay me is a miserable $10,000 a year
More example sentences
  • March's trade deficit came in at a miserable but slightly less-than-expected $31.6 billion.
  • Twenty years ago, school districts delivered miserable services to poor and minority families with no sanction.
  • Their one-day cricket last term was nothing short of miserable.
informal measly, stingy, pathetic
formal exiguous
2.1 [attributive] Contemptible (used as a term of abuse or for emphasis): you miserable old creep!
More example sentences
  • I think they'd say I was a miserable moany old git at the best of times.
  • I happen to know that miserable wretch intimately, as I stare at him each morning in the mirror.
  • If not, they are miserable wretches who are capitalising on people's misery.
informal blithering, blessed, damned, blasted
dated accursed


Late Middle English: from French misérable, from Latin miserabilis 'pitiable', from miserari 'to pity', from miser 'wretched'.



Example sentences
  • It's absurd things like that that balance the movie off its pain-film miserableness; this is a really funny movie, despite the constant stream of tragedy, loss, degradation and soul-shattering identity crisis its characters undergo.
  • But in an incredible marketing feat the Scottish Tourist Board and Scottish Screen are now advertising the sheer miserableness of Scotland in a bid to attract film crews and tourists.
  • The way the English deal with their current law - and how they enforce closing time by bellowing at poor drinkers - smacks of a mean streak of miserableness.


Example sentences
  • Which is how I ended up squatting miserably under a solitary umbrella pine, waiting for the helicopter.
  • The older generation of our country failed miserably in guiding and leading the younger ones.
  • Its people have suffered miserably over many, many years - quite unjustifiably.

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