late 14c., "state of grievous affliction, condition of external unhappiness," from Old French misere "miserable situation, misfortune, distress" (12c.), from Latin miseria "wretchedness," from miser "wretched, pitiable" (see miser). Meaning "condition of one in great sorrow or mental distress" is from 1530s.
1540s, "miserable person, wretch," from Latin miser (adj.) "unhappy, wretched, pitiable, in distress," a word for which "no acceptable PIE pedigree has been found" [de Vaan]. The oldest English sense now is obsolete; the main modern meaning of "money-hoarding person" ("one who in wealth conducts himself as one afflicted with poverty" - Century Dictionary) is recorded by 1560s, from the presumed unhappiness of such people. The older sense is preserved in miserable, misery, etc.
Besides general wretchedness, the Latin word connoted also "intense erotic love" (compare slang got it bad "deeply infatuated") and hence was a favorite word of Catullus. In Greek a miser was kyminopristes, literally "a cumin seed splitter." In Modern Greek, he might be called hekentabelones, literally "one who has sixty needles." The German word, filz, literally "felt," preserves the image of the felt slippers which the miser often wore in caricatures. Lettish mantrausis "miser" is literally "money-raker."
c. 1200, perhaps late Old English, ruthe, "misery, sorrow, grief;" also "pity, compassion, sorrow for the misery of another" (often in have ruth, take ruth); also "remorse, repentance, regret;" from Old Norse hryggð "ruth, sorrow," from hryggr "sorrowful, grieved" (see rue (v.)) + Proto-Germanic abstract noun suffix *-itho (see -th (2)).
Or else formed in English from reuwen "to rue" on the model of true/truth, etc. The Old English word was rue (n.2).
early 15c., "full of misery, causing wretchedness" (of conditions), from Old French miserable (14c.) and directly from Latin miserabilis "pitiable, miserable, deplorable, lamentable," from miserari "to pity, lament, deplore," from miser "wretched" (see miser). Of persons, "existing in a state of want, suffering, wretchedness, etc.," it is attested from 1520s. Meaning "mentally full of misery, wretched in feeling unhappy," by 1590s. Related: Miserableness.
The sense associated with miser, "covetous, miserly," is attested from late 15c., but by 1895 (Century Dictionary) was "obsolete or Scotch." As a noun, "an unfortunate, an unhappy creature," 1530s (reinforced later by the French cognate, as in Hugo's "Les Misérables").
late 14c., "that which consoles;" c. 1400, "act of consoling, alleviation of misery or distress of mind, mitigation of grief or anxiety," from Old French consolacion "solace, comfort; delight, pleasure" (11c., Modern French consolation), from Latin consolationem (nominative consolatio) "a consoling, comfort," noun of action from past-participle stem of consolari "offer solace, encourage, comfort, cheer," from assimilated form of com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + solari "to comfort" (see solace (n.)). The non-champion's consolation prize is recorded by 1853.