[miz-er-uh-buhl, miz-ruh-]
See more synonyms for miserable on Thesaurus.com
  1. wretchedly unhappy, uneasy, or uncomfortable: miserable victims of war.
  2. wretchedly poor; needy.
  3. of wretched character or quality; contemptible: a miserable villain.
  4. attended with or causing misery: a miserable existence.
  5. manifesting misery.
  6. worthy of pity; deplorable: a miserable failure.

Origin of miserable

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin miserābilis, equivalent to miserā(rī) to pity (derivative of miser wretched) + -bilis -ble
Related formsmis·er·a·ble·ness, nounmis·er·a·bly, adverbqua·si-mis·er·a·ble, adjectivequa·si-mis·er·a·bly, adverb

Synonyms for miserable

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. forlorn, disconsolate, doleful, distressed. See wretched. 2. destitute. 3. despicable, mean, low, abject. 6. pitiable, lamentable.

Antonyms for miserable

1. happy. 2. wealthy. 3. good.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for miserable

Contemporary Examples of miserable

Historical Examples of miserable

British Dictionary definitions for miserable


  1. unhappy or depressed; wretched
  2. causing misery, discomfort, etca miserable life
  3. contemptiblea miserable villain
  4. sordid or squalidmiserable living conditions
  5. Scot, Australian and NZ mean; stingy
  6. (pejorative intensifier)you miserable wretch
Derived Formsmiserableness, nounmiserably, adverb

Word Origin for miserable

C16: from Old French, from Latin miserābilis worthy of pity, from miserārī to 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

Word Origin and History for miserable

early 15c., "full of misery, causing wretchedness" (of conditions), from Old French miserable "prone to pity, merciful," and directly from Latin miserabilis "pitiable, miserable, deplorable, lamentable," from miserari "to pity, lament, deplore," from miser "wretched" (see miser). Of persons, "existing in a state of misery" it is attested from 1520s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper