Definition of misery in English:


Line breaks: mis¦ery
Pronunciation: /ˈmɪz(ə)ri

noun (plural miseries)

[mass noun]


make someone's life a misery (or make life a misery for someone)

Cause someone severe distress by continued unpleasantness or harassment: the blackmail that was making his father’s life a misery
More example sentences
  • She felt guilty about Stella making your life a misery.
  • For a start, the new measure will not apply to existing tenants - so if you already live next door to someone who is making your life a misery, this won't help at all.
  • We have a duty to protect the law abiding majority against those who are making their life a misery.

put someone/thing out of their misery

End the suffering of a person or animal in pain by killing them: I’ll send him to our ‘hospice’ tent and then I’ll put him out of his misery
More example sentences
  • Sometimes it was expressed informally, as when spectators at public demonstrations quietly put the animal subjects out of their misery.
  • He says a doctor approached him, saying a hospital administrator wanted to know what he thought about putting patients out of their misery.
  • Authorities are reviewing patient records, trying to evaluate claims that he administered fatal overdoses of medication to seriously ill patients to put them out of their misery.
informal Release someone from suspense or anxiety by telling them something they are anxious to know: listeners were put out of their misery just before midday when broadcasters admitted to the April Fool
More example sentences
  • Maybe I should just put them out of their misery and just tell them the truth?


late Middle English: from Old French miserie, from Latin miseria, from miser 'wretched'.

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