Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old French
Origin: miserie, from Latin miseria, from miser; MISER

misery

noun
     
mis‧e‧ry S3 plural miseries
1 [uncountable and countable] great suffering that is caused for example by being very poor or very sick:
What we are witnessing here is human misery on a vast scale.
the misery of unemployment
the miseries of war
2 [uncountable and countable] great unhappiness:
She looked away so that Tom wouldn't see her misery.
His face was a picture of sheer misery.
The news plunged him into abject misery.
3

make somebody's life a misery

British English to cause so much trouble for someone that they cannot enjoy their life:
Competitive mothers can make their daughters' lives a misery.
4

put something/somebody out of their misery

a) informal to make someone stop feeling worried, especially by telling them something they are waiting to hear:
Go on, put them out of their misery and announce the winner.
b) to kill a sick or injured animal in order to end its suffering [= put down]:
I think you should put the poor creature out of its misery.
5 [countable] British English spoken someone who is always complaining and never enjoys anything:
Don't be such a misery.
What's the matter with you, misery guts (=a name for someone like this)?

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