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[kuh-miz-uh-reyt] /kəˈmɪz əˌreɪt/
verb (used with object), commiserated, commiserating.
to feel or express sorrow or sympathy for; empathize with; pity.
verb (used without object), commiserated, commiserating.
to sympathize (usually followed by with):
They commiserated with him over the loss of his job.
Origin of commiserate
1585-95; < Latin commiserātus (past participle of commiserārī), equivalent to com- com- + miser pitiable (see misery) + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
commiserable, adjective
commiseration, noun
commiserative, adjective
commiseratively, adverb
commiserator, noun
noncommiseration, noun
noncommiserative, adjective
noncommiseratively, adverb
uncommiserated, adjective
uncommiserating, adjective
uncommiserative, adjective
uncommiseratively, adverb
Can be confused
commensurate, commiserate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for commiserating
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • How often have I walked up and down this noble gallery lost in "commiserating reveries" on the vicissitudes of departed grandeur!

  • "I hope you are not sick, Washburn," I said, in commiserating tones.

    Down South Oliver Optic
  • Brown and Hamilton advised me to retire, commiserating me kindly, and expressing hopes that I would be better in the morning.

    Twelve Years a Slave Solomon Northup
  • commiserating their condition, he gave them one of their black companions.

    The Industries of Animals Frdric Houssay
  • When their husbands died everybody was commiserating with them: what will they make a living from?

    Woman William J. Robinson
  • The poor had a commiserating friend in her and the sick a tender nurse.

    Rabbi and Priest Milton Goldsmith
  • How safe to assume that many things were said commiserating poor Mrs. Lincoln who had a bear for a husband.

    Lincoln Nathaniel Wright Stephenson
  • She did, however, wake up to the fact that Coombe and Maiden were commiserating her.

    A Likely Story William De Morgan
  • The coroner, cursing the sympathy of the situation, forced himself to a commiserating, "Did she say how he died?"

    "Persons Unknown" Virginia Tracy
British Dictionary definitions for commiserating


when intr, usually foll by with. to feel or express sympathy or compassion (for)
Derived Forms
commiserable, adjective
commiseration, noun
commiserative, adjective
commiseratively, adverb
commiserator, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin commiserārī, from com- together + miserārī to bewail, pity, from miser wretched
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for commiserating



c.1600, from Latin commiseratus, past participle of commiserari "to pity, bewail" (see commiseration). Related: Commiserated; commiserating. An Old English loan-translation of commiserate was efensargian.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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