[ miz-uh-ree ]
See synonyms for: miserymiseries on Thesaurus.com

noun,plural mis·er·ies.
  1. wretchedness of condition or circumstances.

  2. distress or suffering caused by need, privation, or poverty.

  1. great mental or emotional distress; extreme unhappiness.

  2. a cause or source of distress.

  3. Older Use.

    • a pain: a misery in my left side.

    • Often miseries. a case or period of despondency or gloom.

Origin of misery

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English miserie, from Latin miseria, equivalent to miser “wretched” + -ia-y3

synonym study For misery

3. See sorrow.

Other words for misery

Opposites for misery

Words Nearby misery

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

How to use misery in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for misery


/ (ˈmɪzərɪ) /

nounplural -eries
  1. intense unhappiness, discomfort, or suffering; wretchedness

  2. a cause of such unhappiness, discomfort, etc

  1. squalid or poverty-stricken conditions

  2. British informal a person who is habitually depressed: he is such a misery

  3. dialect a pain or ailment

Origin of misery

C14: via Anglo-Norman from Latin miseria, 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with misery


In addition to the idiom beginning with misery

  • misery loves company

also see:

  • put someone out of his or her misery

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.