- Very miserable; feeling deep affliction or distress
- Worthless; paltry; very poor or mean; miserable.
1922 February, James Joyce, “[Episode 16]”, in Ulysses, Paris: Shakespeare & Co.; Sylvia Beach, OCLC 560090630; republished London: Published for the Egoist Press, London by John Rodker, Paris, 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.
Jan Hollar authored many wretched poems. Jan Hollar lived in a wretched cabin.
- (obsolete) Hatefully contemptible; despicable; wicked.
- 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.
- (very miserable): For semantic relationships of this sense, see sad or lamentable in the Thesaurus.
- (worthless): For semantic relationships of this sense, see insignificant in the Thesaurus.
- (hatefully contemptible): For semantic relationships of this sense, see despicable in the Thesaurus.
- wretched in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- wretched in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
- Misspelling of retched.
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 The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.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.)