- The definition of wretched is something or someone in a very distressed or dismal state or condition.
- A person who looks extremely ill and sickly is an example of a person who would be described as looking wretched.
- A falling down house that is in grave disrepair is an example of a house that would be described as wretched.
- deeply distressed or unhappy; miserable; unfortunate
- characterized by or causing distress or misery; dismal: wretched slums
- poor in quality; very inferior: a wretched meal
- contemptible; despicable
Origin of wretchedMiddle English wrecched ; from wrecche ; from Old English wræcc, wretched ; from wrecan: see wretch
- In a deplorable state of distress or misfortune; miserable: “the wretched prisoners huddling in the stinking cages” (George Orwell).
- Characterized by or attended with misery or woe: a wretched life.
- Of a poor or mean character; dismal: a wretched building.
- Contemptible; despicable: wretched treatment of the patients.
- Of very inferior quality: wretched prose.
Origin of wretchedMiddle English wrecched, from wrecche, wretch; see wretch.
(comparative wretcheder or more wretched, superlative wretchedest or most wretched)
- Nouns to which "wretched" is often applied: man, state, life, condition, creature, woman, excess, person, place, world, being, situation, weather, slave, animal, city, village, health, house, town.
From Middle English, as if from wretch + -ed.