From Middle English wicked, wikked, an alteration of Middle English wicke, wikke (“morally perverse, evil, wicked”). Possibly from an adjectival use of Old English wiċċa (“wizard, sorcerer”), from Proto-Germanic *wikkô (“necromancer, sorcerer”), though the phonology makes this theory difficult to explain.
- Evil or mischievous by nature.
- Synonyms: evil, immoral, malevolent, malicious, nefarious, twisted, villainous; see also Thesaurus:evil
- 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 6, in The China Governess:
- ‘[…] I remember a lady coming to inspect St. Mary's Home where I was brought up and seeing us all in our lovely Elizabethan uniforms we were so proud of, and bursting into tears all over us because “it was wicked to dress us like charity children”. […]’.
- 1989, Chris Isaak (lyrics and music), “Wicked Game”, in Heart Shaped World:
- What a wicked game to play, to make me feel this way / What a wicked thing to do, to let me dream of you / What a wicked thing to say, you never felt this way
- Genuine cowards follow wicked people and cannot reliably sustain any virtue.
- (slang) Excellent; awesome; masterful.
Use of "wicked" as an adjective (in the sense of "extreme, awesome") rather than an intensifying adverb ("extremely, very") is sometimes considered an error when it is used to suggest a Boston or Northeast dialect. In fact, this is not necessarily true in the case of Bostonians born in the 1960s and 70s (and perhaps later) or in other New England dialects. "That's a wicked car" is perhaps used mostly by older Bostonians, but "that car's wicked" and especially "(that's) wicked!" (in the sense of "fantastic, awesome, great") are common in Boston.
What is or was special to Boston and the Northeast is usage as an adverb and an adjective, not usage only as an adverb. However, the Merriam-Webster and American Heritage dictionaries no longer label the adverbial usage a regionalism.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
wicked (not comparable)
- (slang, New England, Britain) Very, extremely.
- simple past tense and past participle of
wicked (not comparable)
- Having a wick.
- a two-wicked lamp
- 1863, Sheridan Le Fanu, The House by the Churchyard:
- Up went Moggy, with her thick-wicked kitchen candle, to seek repose; […]
- (UK, dialect, obsolete) Active; brisk.
- (Britain, dialect, chiefly Yorkshire) Infested with maggots.
- Alternative form of , as applying to inanimate objects only.
- Alternative form of