Definition of miserere in US English:



  • 1A psalm in which mercy is sought, especially Psalm 51 or the music written for it.

  • 2

    another term for misericord (sense 1)
    • ‘The splendid choir stalls with well-carved misereres are of this dating.’
    • ‘Wooden chancel screens are very numerous, the upper part being divided by mullions, supporting tracery, and the whole was elaborately treated with panelling, niches, statues, and pinnacles.’
    • ‘Other features of the church are the fine restored rood-screen, the 15th century font with its enriched Jacobean cover, the carved bench-ends under the tower and two 15th century stalls with misereres in the chancel, and a certain amount of medieval glass in two windows.’


Middle English: from Latin, ‘have mercy!’, imperative of misereri, from miser ‘wretched’.