Misery Loves Company – Meaning & Origin

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

“Misery loves company” is a well-known proverbial phrase we use in the English language. It is usually meant to describe situations where unhappy people want to share their misery with others. It’s been around for centuries, and we still actively use it today.

But are we using it, right? I’ll explain the history behind the phrase and how you should work it into everyday conversations and writing.

Misery Loves Company Meaning

Misery Loves Company Meaning Origin

Have you ever been in a rotten mood, and happy people just make you want to rage? So, then, you say something mean or negative to bring down their mood because it makes a tiny part of you feel better.

The phrase “misery loves company” implies that people who are unhappy or even in pain tend to take comfort in knowing they’re not alone in their suffering by making others miserable, too.

Origin and Etymology of Misery Loves Company

This age-old proverb was originally said in the 16th century by the demon Mephastophilis in a play titled “The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus,” created by Christopher Marlow. The excerpt was in Latin, but it translates to “It is a comfort to the unfortunate to have had companions in woe” or, more simply, “misery loves company.”

But guess what? Marlow actually isn’t the first person to use this Latin phrase. Dominick de Gravina, a 14th-century Italian historian, wrote this Latin phrase in his work, Chronicon de rebus in Apulia gestis.

Misery Loves Company Synonyms

You can use a few variances that would work as synonyms, but they’re mostly just slight deviations from the original phrase.

  • Misery seeks company
  • Like calls to like
  • Like attracts like
  • Hate attracts hate
  • Misery needs company
  • Misery enjoys company
  • Misery attracts company
  • Misery begets company
  • Misery breeds company

Examples of Using “Misery Loves Company” in a Sentence

Misery Loves Company Meaning Origin 1

Here are some of my examples showing how you can use the phrase “misery loves company” in a sentence to create a better understanding of the proverb and the different contexts you can insert it in.

  • Whenever I feel down, I try to surround myself with friends. I know it’s not the intent behind the phrase, but in my case, misery loves company.
  • Listen, it’s not that I want you to be unhappy, but it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one struggling. Misery loves company, right?
  • Tell me why you’re always so negative. Don’t you know that misery loves company?
  • I hate to say it, but sometimes it feels like we’re all just a bunch of miserable people clinging to each other because misery loves company.
  • When I’m having a bad day, I like to make my husband have a bad day with me. He always sighs and says, “misery loves company.”
  • I will never hang out with Samantha ever again. She’s always so negative, and misery loves company.

Don’t Be Miserable!

Even though it’s a common saying, try not to bring misery to others. But if someone you know is being grumpy or having a bad day, and you notice them spreading the vibes, you can tell them that misery loves company and maybe do something to cheer them up.

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