[ miz-er-uh-buhl, miz-ruh- ]
See synonyms for miserable on Thesaurus.com
  1. wretchedly unhappy, uneasy, or uncomfortable: miserable victims of war.

  2. wretchedly poor; needy.

  1. of wretched character or quality; contemptible: a miserable villain.

  2. attended with or causing misery: a miserable existence.

  3. manifesting misery.

  4. worthy of pity; deplorable: a miserable failure.

Origin of miserable

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English, from Latin miserābilis, equivalent to miserā(rī) “to pity” (derivative of miser “wretched”) + -bilis -ble

synonym study For miserable

1. See wretched.

Other words for miserable

Opposites for miserable

Other words from miserable

  • mis·er·a·ble·ness, noun
  • mis·er·a·bly, adverb
  • qua·si-mis·er·a·ble, adjective
  • qua·si-mis·er·a·bly, adverb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use miserable in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for miserable


/ (ˈmɪzərəbəl, ˈmɪzrə-) /

  1. unhappy or depressed; wretched

  2. causing misery, discomfort, etc: a miserable life

  1. contemptible: a miserable villain

  2. sordid or squalid: miserable living conditions

  3. Scot, Australian and NZ mean; stingy

  4. (pejorative intensifier): you miserable wretch

Origin of miserable

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

Derived forms of miserable

  • miserableness, noun
  • miserably, adverb

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