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[miz-uh-ree] /ˈmɪz ə ri/
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.
  1. a pain:
    a misery in my left side.
  2. rheumatism.
  3. Often, miseries. a case or period of despondency or gloom.
Origin of misery
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for misery
  • And no other drug has been more precious for pain control, though sometimes at high cost in addiction and misery.
  • We tend to think of mental hospitals as snake pits, hells of chaos and misery, squalor and brutality.
  • These pages are alive with pain, heavy with human misery.
  • Money can't buy you happiness, but misery surely can bring you sadness.
  • 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.
  • Measuring misery by one's bank account and tax return sometimes misses the point.
  • Back then, there was no one to witness either the misery or the bravery of this heroic band.
  • Enter your cubicle of misery by posting a photo below.
British Dictionary definitions for misery


noun (pl) -eries
intense unhappiness, discomfort, or suffering; wretchedness
a cause of such unhappiness, discomfort, etc
squalid or poverty-stricken conditions
(Brit, informal) a person who is habitually depressed: he is such a misery
(dialect) a pain or ailment
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for misery

late 14c., "condition of external unhappiness," from Old French misere "miserable situation, misfortune, distress" (12c.), from Latin miseria "wretchedness," from miser (see miser). Meaning "condition of one in great sorrow or mental distress" is from 1530s. Meaning "bodily pain" is 1825, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with misery


In addition to the idiom beginning with misery also see: put someone out of his or her misery
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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