Les Misérables

[ French ley mee-zey-ra-bluh ]
/ French leɪ mi zeɪˈra blə /


a novel (1862) by Victor Hugo.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Culture definitions for les miserables

Les Misérables

(1862) A novel by Victor Hugo. The central character, Jean Valjean, is sentenced to prison for stealing a single loaf of bread. Later, seeking respectability, Valjean is hounded by his archenemy, Inspector Javert.


The broad canvas of Hugo's novel has been adapted for numerous films and a long-running Broadway (see also Broadway) musical (usually known as Les Miz).
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.