Share this entry

wretched Line breaks: wretch¦ed
Pronunciation: /ˈrɛtʃɪd/

Definition of wretched in English:

adjective (wretcheder, wretchedest)

1(Of a person) in a very unhappy or unfortunate state: I felt so wretched because I thought I might never see you again
More example sentences
  • But he doesn't make you think that the people were a poor, wretched mass of unwashed humanity.
  • You aren't the complicated villain nor the wretched hero.
  • Harry's wretched past revisits him vividly, trailing behind it issues of betrayal, death, punishment and revenge.
Synonyms
1.1Of poor quality; very bad: the wretched conditions of the slums
More example sentences
  • They lived in tenements and shanties of poor repair with wretched sanitary conditions.
  • His son, Seebohm, had done more than anyone to expose the wretched living conditions of the poor in his 1901 treatise on the slums of York.
  • Three times the tie has been called off by wretched weather, but all the signs indicate the game at Netherfield Road will at last be played tonight at the fourth time of asking.
Synonyms
harsh, hard, grim, stark, difficult;
poor, poverty-stricken, run down, down at heel, impoverished;
pitiful, piteous, pathetic, tragic, miserable, bleak, cheerless, hopeless, sorry, sordid, shabby, seedy, dilapidated, shoddy, godforsaken
informalscummy, crummy
British informalgrotty
terrible, awful, dire, dreadful, atrocious, unspeakable, dismal, bad, poor, lamentable, deplorable, unsatisfactory, substandard, low-quality, inferior
informalyucky, God-awful
British informalbeastly, pants, a load of pants
1.2Used to express anger or annoyance: she disliked the wretched man intensely
More example sentences
  • The development will be seen as evidence of the wretched luck which has dogged the Holyrood project.
  • I fear the worst is yet to come, for now she has brought Father into the wretched business.
  • I plopped onto the couch and that wretched dog hopped up next to me and began to bark.
Synonyms
despicable, contemptible, beyond contempt, reprehensible, base, low, vile, mean, scurvy, abominable, loathsome, hateful, detestable, odious, disreputable, depraved, debased, infamous, villainous, ignoble, shameful, shabby, worthless
informaldirty, filthy, dirty rotten, rotten, low-down, no-good, lousy
British informalbeastly
North American informalgoddam
Australian/New Zealand informalplurry
British informal, , datedbally, ruddy, deuced
vulgar slangfucking, frigging
British vulgar slangsodding
Irish vulgar slangfecking

Derivatives

wretchedly

1
Pronunciation: /ˈrɛtʃɪdli/
adverb
[as submodifier]: a wretchedly poor country
More example sentences
  • Michele's village is obviously and wretchedly poor.
  • I felt wretchedly horrible and I really did believe it was partly my fault Will was here in the hospital and he was paralysed.
  • But it stressed that, despite the improvement, the amount fell wretchedly short of what was needed - and warned that some countries had been so crippled by the pandemic that they risked instability.

wretchedness

2
Pronunciation: /ˈrɛtʃɪdnəs/
noun
Example sentences
  • But, he failed to mention that, with that knowledge comes misery and wretchedness, pain and suffering.
  • But the statistics alone, as horrifying as they are, hardly convey the trauma, pain and wretchedness of the victims.
  • On visits to the West of Ireland in 1847 he saw scenes of such misery and wretchedness that ‘might have driven a wise man mad.’

Origin

Middle English: formed irregularly from wretch + -ed1.

Words that rhyme with wretched

morbid • turbid

Definition of wretched in:

Share this entry

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Related Words