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miserable

[miz-er-uh-buh l, miz-ruh-] /ˈmɪz ər ə bəl, ˈmɪz rə-/
adjective
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
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin miserābilis, equivalent to miserā() to pity (derivative of miser wretched) + -bilis -ble
Related forms
miserableness, noun
miserably, adverb
quasi-miserable, adjective
quasi-miserably, adverb
Synonyms
1. forlorn, disconsolate, doleful, distressed. See wretched. 2. destitute. 3. despicable, mean, low, abject. 6. pitiable, lamentable.
Antonyms
1. happy. 2. wealthy. 3. good.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for miserable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But whenever we pass it, or stop at it, I think of that miserable day and all my fears.

    Peterkin Mary Louisa Molesworth
  • Spinifex for the first fourteen miles, and miserable country.

  • What miserable creatures we poor devils of the South would have been!

    From Bull Run to Appomattox Luther W. Hopkins
  • Before we reached the range we had most miserable spinifex sand-hills.

  • Of all this Haviland was aware, and an intense pity arose in his heart as he gazed upon the miserable wreck.

    Haviland's Chum Bertram Mitford
British Dictionary definitions for miserable

miserable

/ˈmɪzərəbəl; ˈmɪzrə-/
adjective
1.
unhappy or depressed; wretched
2.
causing misery, discomfort, etc: a miserable life
3.
contemptible: a miserable villain
4.
sordid or squalid: miserable living conditions
5.
(Scot & Austral, NZ) mean; stingy
6.
(pejorative intensifier): you miserable wretch
Derived Forms
miserableness, noun
miserably, adverb
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for miserable
adj.

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
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