Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective In a deplorable state of distress or misfortune; miserable.
  • adjective Characterized by or attended with misery or woe.
  • adjective Of a poor or mean character; dismal.
  • adjective Contemptible; despicable.
  • adjective Of very inferior quality.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Suffering from or affected by extreme misery or distress; deeply afflicted; miserable; unhappy.
  • Characterized by or causing misery or unhappiness; very afflicting, annoying, or uncomfortable; distressingly bad in condition or relation: as, the wretched condition of a prison; wretched weather; a wretched prospect.
  • Of miserable character or quality; despicable; contemptible; reprehensible; strongly objectionable: used of persons or things: as, a wretched blunderer or quibbler; a wretched quibble; wretched stuff.
  • Worthless; paltry; very poor, mean, inefficient, unsatisfactory, unskilful, or the like: as, a wretched poem; a wretched cabin; a wretched defense or piece of work.
  • =Syn.1. Forlorn, woebegone.
  • Vile, sorry, shabby, pitiful.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Very miserable; sunk in, or accompanied by, deep affliction or distress, as from want, anxiety, or grief; calamitous; woeful; very afflicting.
  • adjective Worthless; paltry; very poor or mean; miserable.
  • adjective obsolete Hatefully contemptible; despicable; wicked.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Very miserable; sunk in, or accompanied by, deep affliction or distress, as from want, anxiety, or grief; calamitous; woeful; very afflicting.
  • adjective Worthless; paltry; very poor or mean; miserable
  • adjective obsolete Hatefully contemptible; despicable; wicked.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective morally reprehensible
  • adjective deserving or inciting pity
  • adjective of very poor quality or condition
  • adjective very unhappy; full of misery
  • adjective characterized by physical misery

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English wrecched, from wrecche, wretch; see wretch.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, as if from wretch + -ed.

Examples

  • The boys hurrahed vociferously when they left what they called wretched little England; but subsequently Richard held that his having been educated abroad was an incalculable loss to him.

    The Life of Sir Richard Burton

  • The boys hurrahed vociferously when they left what they called wretched little England; but subsequently Richard held that his having been educated abroad was an incalculable loss to him.

    The Life of Sir Richard Burton

  • The boys hurrahed vociferously when they left what they called wretched little England; but subsequently Richard held that his having been educated abroad was an incalculable loss to him.

    The Life of Sir Richard Burton

  • Albert wore haircloth next to the skin, and clothed himself with coarse cloth and in wretched garments ....

    Three Cheers for Mrs Beamish

  • Great armies of them are toiling now at the building of Ardis, housed in wretched barracks where family life cannot exist, and where decency is displaced by dull bestiality.

    Chapter 21: The Roaring Abysmal Beast

  • Albert wore haircloth next to the skin, and clothed himself with coarse cloth and in wretched garments ....

    St Albert of Trapani

  • Slightly less wretched is Cavemen, the half hour comedy based on those GEICO commercials running everywhere every five minutes.

    This is my brain on stir-fry

  • She almost died in wretched poverty, saved at the very end by a rediscovery of her work.

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, LIZA!

  • They rarely enjoy their home and are often naggy towards their husbands because they are overburdened with masculine duties and so try to enlist help from their husbands for their feminine duties .... oh how wretched is that role blurring.

    Don't Give Up

  • The fishing-fleet, as they call their wretched tubs, will come home, with the usual fuss, to-night, and on Monday it shall be ashes.

    Springhaven

Comments

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  • '"He was altogether wretched. He hated the dark, and he hated the light more: he hated everything."' -The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien

    February 21, 2008