Americanism: Commiserate

DEFINITION: “Commiserate” means to feel sympathy or express sorrow for. Specifically, if you commiserate with someone, you show them sympathy when something unpleasant has happened to them.

EXAMPLE: “I want to commiserate with you about the Boston winter.”

Americans are known for “commiserating” with strangers about a predicament they might find themselves in, such as a cancelled flight, a long line for a concert, or bad weather leaving them stranded. They try to connect with others over this current negative experience in order to try to “lighten” the mood.

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