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[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.
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Examples from the web for wretchedly
  • For that they get by fighting, immediately they spend unthriftily and wretchedly in riot.
  • Meanwhile it is clear how wretchedly the world is failing to do so.
  • It is wretchedly poor, with a centuries-old tradition of lawlessness.
  • Since they don't have any means they will become wretchedly poor.
  • The strategy is sound, if wretchedly overdue, but the politics will be testing.
  • It is likely to say that the tribes have done slightly better recently, albeit from a wretchedly low starting point.
  • It is sealed and stifling, gray and extremely powerful-about as attractive as somebody coughing wretchedly beside you on a subway.
  • What does matter is that her picture, unlike her play, has been poorly written and wretchedly produced.
  • Tens of millions have died violently, or wretchedly from starvation.
  • He cursed the telephone, over which everything came out so wretchedly.
British Dictionary definitions for wretchedly


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
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Word Origin and History for wretchedly



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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