- Very miserable; feeling deep affliction or distress.
- I felt wretched after my wife died.
- Worthless; paltry; very poor or mean; miserable.
- The street was full of wretched beggars dressed in rags.
- 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter XVII, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 4293071:
- This time was most dreadful for Lilian. Thrown on her own resources and almost penniless, she maintained herself and paid the rent of a wretched room near the hospital by working as a charwoman, sempstress, anything.
- 1922 February, James Joyce, “[Episode 16]”, in Ulysses, London: The Egoist Press, published October 1922, OCLC 2297483:
- All those wretched quarrels, in his humble opinion, stirring up bad blood, from some bump of combativeness or gland of some kind, erroneously supposed to be about a punctilio of honour and a flag, […].
- 2011 April 11, Phil McNulty, “Liverpool 3-0 Man City”, in BBC Sport:
- Mario Balotelli replaced Tevez but his contribution was so negligible that he suffered the indignity of being substituted himself as time ran out, a development that encapsulated a wretched 90 minutes for City and boss Roberto Mancini.
- (obsolete) Hatefully contemptible; despicable; wicked.
- (informal) Used to express dislike of or annoyance towards the mentioned thing.
- Will you please stop playing that wretched trombone!
- Nouns to which "wretched" is often applied: woman, state, life, condition, creature, man, excess, person, place, world, being, situation, weather, slave, animal, city, village, health, house, town, hole, hive.
- (very miserable): See Thesaurus:sad or Thesaurus:lamentable
- (worthless): See Thesaurus:insignificant
- (hatefully contemptible): See Thesaurus:despicable
- “wretched” in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
- “wretched” in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
- Douglas Harper (2001–2022), “wretched”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Misspelling of .
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for “wretched” in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)