Learner's definition of MISERY
1 [noncount] : extreme suffering or unhappiness
The war brought misery to thousands of refugees.
They were living in overcrowded slums in conditions of great misery.
a source of human misery
the joy and misery of life
2 a [count] : something that causes extreme suffering or unhappiness— usually plural b [singular] : a very unhappy or painful time or experience
◊ When an injured or sick animal is put out of its misery, it is killed so that it no longer has to suffer. This phrase is sometimes used to refer to people as well.
patients who are in constant pain and want to be put out of their misery
(humorous) I know you're all anxious to hear the results, so let me put you out of your misery. [=let me end your suffering by telling you the results]
The champion finally put him out of his misery by knocking him out in the fifth round. [=the champion was beating him badly and finally ended the fight by knocking him out]
3 [singular], British, informal : an unhappy person who complains often or constantly