misery Definition

  • 1a state of great unhappiness or discomfort
  • 2a cause or source of great unhappiness

Using misery: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "misery" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The refugees were living in utter misery.

  • Example

    She was overwhelmed by a sense of misery and despair.

  • Example

    The company's financial misery continued for years.

  • Example

    He caused nothing but misery for his family.

misery Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for misery

Antonyms for misery

Idioms Using misery

  • something that is undesirable but must be accepted


    For some people, paying taxes is a necessary evil.

  • something that seems bad or unlucky at first, but results in something good happening later


    Losing his job turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as he found a better one soon after.

  • the lesser of two evils

    a choice between two unpleasant options, where one is less bad than the other


    He had to choose between working overtime or losing his job, so he chose the lesser of two evils and worked extra hours.

Phrases with misery

  • make someone's life a misery

    to make someone's life very difficult or unpleasant


    Her boss made her life a misery with constant criticism and unreasonable demands.

  • take misery to someone's door

    to cause trouble or suffering for someone


    The pandemic has taken misery to the door of many families who lost their loved ones.

  • to indulge in self-pity or sadness


    After her breakup, she spent weeks wallowing in misery and refused to leave her apartment.

Origins of misery

from Old French 'miserie', from Latin 'misera', meaning 'wretched, unhappy'


Summary: misery in Brief

The term 'misery' [ˈmɪzəri] refers to a state of great unhappiness or discomfort, often caused by external factors. It can also be used to describe the source of such unhappiness, as in 'The company's financial misery continued for years.' The phrase 'make someone's life a misery' denotes causing difficulty or unpleasantness, while 'wallow in misery' implies indulging in self-pity. Idioms like 'a necessary evil' and 'a blessing in disguise' offer alternative perspectives on difficult situations.

How do native speakers use this expression?