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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was a wretchedly dark, drizzling afternoon—cold too, with gusts of wind.

    A Crooked Path Mrs. Alexander
  • These last must be wretchedly unwholesome in the brief rainy season.

    Aztec Land Maturin M. Ballou
  • What was a little sympathetic feeling, more or less, to these wretchedly poor creatures?

    A Manifest Destiny Julia Magruder
  • The tears swam to her eyes and wretchedly and yet thankfully she wept.

    The Paliser case Edgar Saltus
  • He will be wretched about it, and it places the happiness of the owners of little dogs generally on a wretchedly insecure footing.

    Up the Country Emily Eden
  • On asking how I had slept, and when I said wretchedly, she demanded an explanation.

  • Mr. Rutledge looked a little anxiously at me, and said I was wretchedly pale, and he did not know about going on.

    Rutledge Miriam Coles Harris
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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