• IPA: /ˈmɪz(ə)ɹəbəl/

miserable (comparative miserabler, superlative miserablest)

  1. In a state of misery: very sad, ill, or poor.
    • 1913, Mrs. [Marie] Belloc Lowndes, chapter I, in The Lodger, London: Methuen, OCLC 7780546 ↗; republished in Novels of Mystery: The Lodger; The Story of Ivy; What Really Happened, New York, N.Y.: Longmans, Green and Co., […], [1933], OCLC 2666860 ↗, page 0056 ↗:
      Thanks to that penny he had just spent so recklessly [on a newspaper] he would pass a happy hour, taken, for once, out of his anxious, despondent, miserable self. It irritated him shrewdly to know that these moments of respite from carking care would not be shared with his poor wife, with careworn, troubled Ellen.
  2. Very bad (at something); unskilled, incompetent.
    He's good at some sports, like tennis, but he's just miserable at football.
  3. Wretched; worthless; mean.
    a miserable sinner
  4. (obsolete) Causing unhappiness or misery.
    • circa 1596–1599 William Shakespeare The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, Act III, scene i:
      For what's more miserable than discontent?
  5. (obsolete) Avaricious; niggardly; miserly.
  • (in a state of misery) seeSynonyms en
  • (very bad (at)) seeSynonyms en
  • (wretched) seeSynonyms en
  • (causing unhappiness) seeSynonyms en
  • (miserly) seeSynonyms en
Translations Translations Noun

miserable (plural miserables)

  1. A miserable person; a wretch.
    • 1838, The Foreign Quarterly Review (volume 21, page 181)
      Dona Carmen repaired to the balcony to chat and jest with, and at, these miserables, who stopped before the door to rest in their progress. All pretended poverty while literally groaning under the weight of their riches.
    • 2003, Richard C. Trexler, Reliving Golgotha: The Passion Play of Iztapalapa (pages 46-47)
      The charge that those who played Jesus in these representations were treated badly by the plays' Jews and Romans left one commissioner cold: in his view, these miserables were beaten much less severely by the players than they were by their actual lords or curacas.

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