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According to Oxford Dictionary of English,

usually miseries [count noun] A cause or source of great distress or discomfort.

‘the miseries of war’
But Idiomatic and Syntactic English dictionary says: (pl.) painful happenings; great misfortunes, as the miseries of mankind.
Depending on context, could 'miseries' mean either a wretched state of something or a thing causing this?
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anonymous Depending on context, could 'miseries' mean either a wretched state of something or a thing causing this?

Yes. You have learned a valuable lesson about dictionaries. You have to look at several. The Oxford English Dictionary puts both those definitions in the same entry:

" 2. As a count noun: a distressing condition, state, or circumstance; a cause or source of wretchedness. Frequently in plural."