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wretched

[rech-id] /ˈrɛtʃ ɪd/
adjective, wretcheder, wretchedest.
1.
very unfortunate in condition or circumstances; miserable; pitiable.
2.
characterized by or attended with misery and sorrow.
3.
despicable, contemptible, or mean:
a wretched miser.
4.
poor, sorry, or pitiful; worthless:
a wretched job of sewing.
Origin of wretched
1150-1200
1150-1200; Middle English wrecchede. See wretch, -ed3
Related forms
wretchedly, adverb
wretchedness, noun
unwretched, adjective
Synonyms
1. dejected, distressed, afflicted, woeful, woebegone, forlorn, unhappy. 2. Wretched, miserable, sorry refer to that which is unhappy, afflicted, or distressed. Wretched refers to a condition of extreme affliction or distress, especially as outwardly apparent: wretched hovels. Miserable refers more to the inward feeling of unhappiness or distress: a miserable life. Sorry applies to distressed, often poverty-stricken outward circumstances; but it has connotations of unworthiness, incongruousness, or the like, so that the beholder feels more contempt than pity: in a sorry plight. 3. base, vile.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for wretched
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Cabins are by no means as wretched for residences as their name imports.

  • No wonder Florence has a hard time of it; but isn't it wretched of me to gossip?

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • The man who wrote it, I suppose, was some wretched fellow who writes these things for a drink.

    Dubliners James Joyce
  • His mother lay on a wretched bed in the corner, half stupefied with drink.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • It was a wretched autumn day on which she set out for her new home.

British Dictionary definitions for wretched

wretched

/ˈrɛtʃɪd/
adjective
1.
in poor or pitiful circumstances
2.
characterized by or causing misery
3.
despicable; base
4.
poor, inferior, or paltry
5.
(prenominal) (intensifier qualifying something undesirable): a wretched nuisance
Derived Forms
wretchedly, adverb
wretchedness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for wretched
adj.

c.1200, wrecched, an irregular formation from wrecche "wretch" (see wretch). Cf. also wicked.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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