From Middle English miscarien, equivalent to mis- +‎ carry.


  • (US, UK) IPA(key): /ˌmɪsˈkæɹi/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æɹi


miscarry (third-person singular simple present miscarries, present participle miscarrying, simple past and past participle miscarried)

  1. (obsolete) To have an unfortunate accident of some kind; to be killed, or come to harm. [14th-18th c.]
  2. (now rare) To go astray; to do something wrong. [from 14th c.]
  3. To have a miscarriage; to involuntarily abort a foetus. [from 16th c.]
  4. To fail to achieve some purpose; to be unsuccessful, to go wrong (of a business, project etc.). [from 16th c.]
  5. Of a letter etc.: to fail to reach its intended recipient. [from 16th c.]
    • 1598, William Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost
      Sir Nathaniel, this Biron is one of the votaries with the king; and here he hath framed a letter to a sequent of the stranger queen's, which accidentally, or by the way of progression, hath miscarried.
    • 1817, Walter Scott, Rob Roy, II.1:
      It likewise alluded to several letters—which, it appeared to me, must have miscarried or been intercepted [...].

Derived termsEdit