Why was clemency trending last week?


[rech-id] /ˈrɛtʃ ɪd/
adjective, wretcheder, wretchedest.
very unfortunate in condition or circumstances; miserable; pitiable.
characterized by or attended with misery and sorrow.
despicable, contemptible, or mean:
a wretched miser.
poor, sorry, or pitiful; worthless:
a wretched job of sewing.
Origin of wretched
1150-1200; Middle English wrecchede. See wretch, -ed3
Related forms
wretchedly, adverb
wretchedness, noun
unwretched, adjective
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for wretched
  • Those of us who are sympathetic to animal issues find it wretched to consider that our dinner might have had emotions.
  • wretched typing experience on old-school resistive touchscreen.
  • Taking pity on our wretched appearance, drivers slowed down and threw loaves of bread out of their cars.
  • Despite their wretched situation, they are forced to work together.
  • It would have gotten me out of that wretched school a year earlier.
  • The use of the zero, however, requires us to defend the proposition that abysmal is six times as bad as wretched.
  • But authority was unflinching, and the wretched cleric was duly and publicly executed.
  • The characters are wondering why these wretched legions are surrounding the mall, coming back day after day.
  • Or have anything whatsoever to do with that dreadful, wretched place.
  • These wretched ballets had a certain negative importance.
British Dictionary definitions for wretched


in poor or pitiful circumstances
characterized by or causing misery
despicable; base
poor, inferior, or paltry
(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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for wretched

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for wretched

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for wretched

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with wretched

Nearby words for wretched