noun, plural miseries.
wretchedness of condition or circumstances.
distress or suffering caused by need, privation, or poverty.
great mental or emotional distress; extreme unhappiness.
a cause or source of distress.
Older Use.
a pain: a misery in my left side.
Often, miseries. a case or period of despondency or gloom.

1325–75; Middle English miserie < Latin miseria, equivalent to miser wretched + -ia -y3

1. tribulation, trial, suffering. 3. grief, anguish, woe, torment, desolation. See sorrow.

3. happiness.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
misery (ˈmɪzərɪ)
n , pl -eries
1.  intense unhappiness, discomfort, or suffering; wretchedness
2.  a cause of such unhappiness, discomfort, etc
3.  squalid or poverty-stricken conditions
4.  informal (Brit) a person who is habitually depressed: he is such a misery
5.  dialect a pain or ailment
[C14: via Anglo-Norman from Latin miseria, from miser wretched]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., "condition of external unhappiness," from O.Fr. miserie (12c.), from L. miseria "wretchedness," from miser. Meaning "condition of one in great sorrow or mental distress" is from 1530s. Meaning "bodily pain" is 1825, Amer.Eng.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idiom beginning with misery, also see put someone out of his or her misery.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
And no other drug has been more precious for pain control, though sometimes at
  high cost in addiction and misery.
Nothing but time can cure the common cold, but a simple cup of salt water might
  ease the misery this winter.
But the newcomers and the flowers are not the only source of all this misery.
Clouds of insects-displaced from their habitat-added to the misery.
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