Misery Loves Company: What Does this Common Idiom Mean?

The idiomatic phrase “misery loves company” is a phrase that you may encounter frequently. In the sections to follow, you can discover the definition of this phrase and its origin story. You will also see some sample conversations and statements that will aid you in seeing how the phrase is used properly in everyday communication and you will also gain knowledge of how to say this phrase using other terms while still stating the same meaning.

Misery Loves Company

Misery Loves Company Meaning

The phrase “misery loves company” means that people who are suffering and miserable find reassurance and comfort in the fact that others are suffering and miserable also.

Origin of this idiom

The phrase, or proverb, “misery loves company” began as a Latin phrase sometime in the 14th century. It was first written by an Italian historian. Sometime during the 17th century, this Latin phrase was shortened into the English “misery loves company” by author Christopher Marlowe for his play titled Doctor Faustus. It has been used widely since.

“Misery Loves Company” Examples

Example Statements

A statement made by a celebrity when asked during an interview about her closest childhood friend.

  • “We had some good times, but then in high school things changed and we had to part ways. She got into a lot of trouble with the law and was just miserable. Since misery loves company, she tried to drag me down with her, but I didn’t want to go that route.”

A statement made by a local school official about his feelings of social media.

  • “All forms of social media are merely proof that misery loves company.”

Example Conversations

A conversation between two good friends over dinner.

  • Friend 1: Jan has been annoying me all day again!
  • Friend 2: Oh I know. She has been complaining about her life all day to me and saying how miserable she is.
  • Friend 1: Right?! It’s like she wants us to be miserable too!
  • Friend 2: Well, they do say misery loves company.

A conversation between two co-workers regarding another co-worker in the office.

  • Co-worker 1: Paul is miserable today.
  • Co-worker 2: That’s because the manager yelled at him earlier about something. I could hear it outside his office door.
  • Co-worker 1: That explains it I guess, but no need to take it out on everyone else.
  • Co-worker 2: Unfortunately, misery loves company.

Helpful examples:

  • Her boss criticized her this morning, and misery loves company.
  • Misery loves company. Let me stay here and help you.
  • Misery loves company. Call me any time you’re in trouble again.

Alternatives to “Misery Loves Company”

Some alternative ways you can say this phrase include:

  • People who are miserable like the company of other miserable people
  • Miserable people are comforted knowing they are not alone
  • Unhappy people thrive knowing others are also unhappy

Misery Loves Company Meaning | Picture

Misery Loves Company