[miz-uh-rair-ee, -reer-ee]


the 51st Psalm, or the 50th in the Douay Bible.
a musical setting for it.
(lowercase) a prayer or expression of appeal for mercy.
(lowercase) misericord(def 3).

Origin of Miserere

From the Latin word miserēre literally, have pity (imperative), first word of the psalm
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for miserere

Historical Examples of miserere

  • The number of lashes depends on the time which it takes to pray the Miserere.

  • Tenebræ had been going on for some time in the Basilica, and the people were singing the Miserere.

  • Olive knew no more prayers in Latin, but her cousin began the Miserere.

    Olive in Italy

    Moray Dalton

  • For the Miserere in the Sistine Chapel tickets are also issued.


    Charles Dudley Warner

  • He has been to Rome, and indulged himself with listening to the Miserere.

British Dictionary definitions for miserere



another word for misericord (def. 1)



the 51st psalm, the Latin version of which begins "Miserere mei, Deus" ("Have mercy on me, O God")
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 miserere



51st Psalm (one of the Penitential Psalms), 13c., from Miserere mei Deus "Have mercy upon me, O God," opening line, from Latin miserere "feel pity, have compassion, commiserate," imperative of misereri "to have mercy," from miser (see miser). From 15c.-17c. used as an informal measure of time, "the time it takes to recite the Miserere." Also in miserere mei "kind of severe colic ('iliac passion') accompanied by excruciating cramps and vomiting of excrement" (1610s), literally "have mercy on me."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper