[ kuh-miz-uh-reyt ]
See synonyms for: commiseratecommiseratingcommiserablecommiseration on

verb (used without object),com·mis·er·at·ed, com·mis·er·at·ing.
  1. to sympathize (usually followed by with): They commiserated with him over the loss of his job.

verb (used with object),com·mis·er·at·ed, com·mis·er·at·ing.
  1. to feel or express sorrow or sympathy for; empathize with; pity.

Origin of commiserate

First recorded in 1585–95; from Latin commiserātus (past participle of commiserārī ), equivalent to com- com- + miser “pitiable” (see misery) + -ātus -ate1

Other words from commiserate

  • com·mis·er·a·ble, adjective
  • com·mis·er·a·tion [kuh-miz-uh-rey-shuhn], /kəˌmɪz əˈreɪ ʃən/, noun
  • com·mis·er·a·tive, adjective
  • com·mis·er·a·tive·ly, adverb
  • com·mis·er·a·tor, noun
  • non·com·mis·er·a·tive, adjective
  • non·com·mis·er·a·tive·ly, adverb
  • un·com·mis·er·at·ed, adjective
  • un·com·mis·er·at·ing, adjective
  • un·com·mis·er·a·tive, adjective
  • un·com·mis·er·a·tive·ly, adverb

Words that may be confused with commiserate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use commiserate in a sentence

  • In recent days, Shuler has been commiserating with defeated moderates who have applauded his race.

  • There was something actually touching in the commiserating look the attach gave Tony as he turned away and left the room.

    Tony Butler | Charles James Lever
  • "Oh," whimpered Angela, changing her tone at once from helpless accusing rage to pleading, self-commiserating misery.

    The "Genius" | Theodore Dreiser
  • "Well, well, my honest lad," responded the commiserating and now satisfied officer; don't mind it—nobody wants to harm you.

    The Rangers | D. P. Thompson
  • And casting a commiserating glance at Viviana, she closed the door.

    Guy Fawkes | William Harrison Ainsworth
  • "I was sorry to hear of your disappointment," added she, in a commiserating tone.

    The Actress in High Life | Sue Petigru Bowen

British Dictionary definitions for commiserate


/ (kəˈmɪzəˌreɪt) /

  1. (when intr, usually foll by with) to feel or express sympathy or compassion (for)

Origin of commiserate

C17: from Latin commiserārī, from com- together + miserārī to bewail, pity, from miser wretched

Derived forms of commiserate

  • commiserable, adjective
  • commiseration, noun
  • commiserative, adjective
  • commiseratively, adverb
  • commiserator, noun

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