Here is the usage of the word "miserable" in different sentences:
1. He led a miserable life. (In this sentence, "miserable" implies "wretched or unfortunate.")
2. The weather is miserable here especially during the summer. (Here "miserable" means "pathetic")
3. The woodwork in this design is miserable. (Here "miserable" means of inferior quality)
4. She pulled off a miserable prank on me. (Here "miserable" means shameful or contemptible)
In all the above sentences, we see that though the word is applied differently according to the sense of the sentence, the meaning remains the same: "causing stress or sadness." The word seems to have entered popular English literature in the middle of the 11th century.