wraparound (n.) Look up wraparound at Dictionary.com
also wrap-around, 1877 as a type of garment, from verbal phrase, from wrap (v.) + around (adv.). As an adjective by 1937.
wrapper (n.) Look up wrapper at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "piece of fine cloth used for wrapping bread," agent noun from wrap (v.). Meaning "disposable protective covering" is from 1808.
wrasse (n.) Look up wrasse at Dictionary.com
type of salt-water fish, 1670s, from Cornish wrach, related to Welsh gurach.
wrath (n.) Look up wrath at Dictionary.com
Old English wræððu "anger," from wrað "angry" (see wroth) + -þu, from Proto-Germanic -itho (as in strength, width etc.; see -th (2)).
wrathful (adj.) Look up wrathful at Dictionary.com
c.1300, from wrath + -ful. Related: Wrathfully; wrathfulness.
wreak (v.) Look up wreak at Dictionary.com
Old English wrecan "avenge," originally "to drive, drive out, punish" (class V strong verb; past tense wræc, past participle wrecen), from Proto-Germanic *wrekan (cognates: Old Saxon wrekan, Old Norse reka, Old Frisian wreka, Middle Dutch wreken "to drive, push, compel, pursue, throw," Old High German rehhan, German rächen "to avenge," Gothic wrikan "to persecute"), from PIE root *wreg- "to push, shove, drive, track down" (see urge (v.)). Meaning "inflict or take vengeance," with on, is recorded from late 15c.; that of "inflict or cause (damage or destruction)" is attested from 1817. Compare wrack (v.). Related: Wreaked; wreaking.
wreath (n.) Look up wreath at Dictionary.com
Old English wriða "fillet, bandage, band" (literally "that which is wound around"), from Proto-Germanic *writh- (cognates: Old Norse riða, Danish vride, Old High German ridan "to turn, twist," Old Saxon, Old Frisian wreth "angry," Dutch wreed "rough, harsh, cruel," Old High German reid "twisted," Old Norse reiða "angry"), from PIE *wreit- "to turn, bend" (cognates: Old English wriða "band," wriðan "to twist, torture," wraþ "angry"), from root *wer- (3) "to turn, bend" (see versus). Meaning "ring or garland of flowers or vines" is first recorded 1560s.
wreathe (v.) Look up wreathe at Dictionary.com
1520s (transitive), a back-formation from wrethen, Middle English past participle of writhe. Intransitive sense from 1580s. Related: Wreathed; wreathing.
wreck (n.) Look up wreck at Dictionary.com
early 13c., "goods cast ashore after a shipwreck, flotsam," from Anglo-French wrec, from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse *wrek "wreck, flotsam" (cognates: Norwegian, Icelandic rek), related to reka "to drive, push," from Proto-Germanic *wrekan (see wreak (v.)). The meaning "a shipwreck" is first recorded mid-15c.; that of "a wrecked ship" is by c.1500. General sense of "remains of anything that has been ruined" is recorded from 1713; applied by 1795 to dissipated persons. Compare wrack (v.).
wreck (v.) Look up wreck at Dictionary.com
"to destroy, ruin," c.1500, from wreck (n.). Earlier (12c.) it meant "drive out or away, remove;" also "take vengeance." Intransitive sense from 1670s. Related: Wrecked; wrecking.
wreckage (n.) Look up wreckage at Dictionary.com
1814, "fact of being wrecked," from wreck (v.) + -age. Meaning "remains of a wrecked thing" is from 1832.
wrecker (n.) Look up wrecker at Dictionary.com
1804, in reference to those who salvage cargos from wrecked ships, from wreck (n.). In Britain often with a overtones of "one who causes a shipwreck in order to plunder it" (1820); but in 19c. Bahamas and the Florida Keys it could be a legal occupation. Applied to those who wreck and plunder institutions from 1882. Meaning "demolition worker" attested by 1958. As a type of ship employed in salvage operations, from 1789. As a railway vehicle with a crane or hoist, from 1904.
wren (n.) Look up wren at Dictionary.com
small, migratory singing bird, Old English wrenna, metathesis variation of earlier werna, a Germanic word of uncertain origin. Compare Icelandic rindill, Old High German wrendo, wrendilo "wren." The bird's name in other languages usually denotes "royalty" (such as Latin regulus), in reference to its golden crest.
wrench (v.) Look up wrench at Dictionary.com
Old English wrencan "to twist," from Proto-Germanic *wrankjan (cognates: Old High German renken, German renken "to twist, wrench," Old English wringan "to wring"), from PIE *wreng- "to turn" (cognates: Sanskrit vrnakti "turns, twists," Lithuanian rengtis "to grow crooked, to writhe"), nasalized variant of *werg- "to turn" (cognates: Latin vergere "to turn, tend toward"), from root *wer- (3) "to turn, bend" (see versus). Related: Wrenched, wrenching.
wrench (n.) Look up wrench at Dictionary.com
Old English wrenc "a twisting, artifice, trick;" see wrench (v.). The meaning "tool with jaws at one end for turning or holding" is first recorded 1794.
wrest (v.) Look up wrest at Dictionary.com
Old English wræstan "to twist, wrench," from Proto-Germanic *wraistjan (source of Old Norse reista "to bend, twist"), from PIE *wreik- "to turn" (see wry). Meaning "to pull, detach" (something) is recorded from c.1300. Meaning "to take by force" (in reference to power, authority, etc.) is attested from early 15c. Related: Wrested; wresting.
wrestle (v.) Look up wrestle at Dictionary.com
Old English *wræstlian, frequentative of wræstan "to wrest" (see wrest). Compare North Frisian wrassele, Middle Low German worstelen. Figurative sense is recorded from early 13c. Related: Wrestled; wrestling.
wrestler (n.) Look up wrestler at Dictionary.com
late Old English, agent noun from wrestle (v.).
wrestling (n.) Look up wrestling at Dictionary.com
Old English wræstlung, "sport of grappling and throwing," verbal noun from wrestle (v.). From c.1300 as "action of wrestling, a wrestling match." Figurative use from c.1200.
wretch (n.) Look up wretch at Dictionary.com
Old English wrecca "wretch, stranger, exile," from Proto-Germanic *wrakjon "pursuer; one pursued" (cognates: Old Saxon wrekkio, Old High German reckeo "a banished person, exile," German recke "renowned warrior, hero"), related to Old English wreccan "to drive out, punish" (see wreak). "The contrast in the development of the meaning in Eng. and German is remarkable" [OED]. Sense of "vile, despicable person" developed in Old English, reflecting the sorry state of the outcast, as presented in Anglo-Saxon verse (such as "The Wanderer"). Compare German Elend "misery," from Old High German elilenti "sojourn in a foreign land, exile."
wretched (adj.) Look up wretched at Dictionary.com
c.1200, wrecched, an irregular formation from wrecche "wretch" (see wretch). Also see wicked. Related: Wretchedly; wretchedness.
wriggle (v.) Look up wriggle at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from Middle Low German wrigglen "to wriggle," from Proto-Germanic *wreik- "to turn" (see wry). Related to Old English wrigian "to turn, incline, go forward."
wright (n.) Look up wright at Dictionary.com
Old English wryhta, wrihta (Northumbrian wyrchta, Kentish werhta) "worker," variant of earlier wyhrta, from wyrcan "to work" (see work (v.)). Now usually in combinations (wheelwright, playwright, etc.) or as a surname. Common West Germanic; cognate with Old Saxon wurhito, Old Frisian wrichta, Old High German wurhto.
wring (v.) Look up wring at Dictionary.com
Old English wringan "press, strain, wring, twist" (class III strong verb; past tense wrang, past participle wrungen), from Proto-Germanic *wreng- (cognates: Old English wringen "to wring, press out," Old Frisian wringa, Middle Dutch wringhen, Dutch wringen "to wring," Old High German ringan "to move to and fro, to twist," German ringen "to wrestle"), from PIE *wrengh-, nasalized variant of *wergh- "to turn," from root *wer- (3) "to turn, bend" (see versus). To wring (one's) hands "press the hands or fingers tightly together (as though wringing)" as an indication of distress or pain is attested from c.1200.
wringer (n.) Look up wringer at Dictionary.com
"device for squeezing water from clothes," 1799, agent noun from wring (v.). (Earlier it meant "extortioner," c.1300.) Figurative phrase to put (someone) through the wringer first recorded 1942, American English.
wrinkle (v.) Look up wrinkle at Dictionary.com
early 15c. (transitive), probably from stem of Old English gewrinclod "wrinkled, crooked, winding," past participle of gewrinclian "to wind, crease," from perfective prefix ge- + -wrinclian "to wind," from Proto-Germanic *wrankjan (see wrench (v.)). Intransitive sense from 1610s. Related: Wrinkled; wrinkling.
wrinkle (n.) Look up wrinkle at Dictionary.com
"fold or crease in the extenal body," late 14c.; in cloth or clothing from early 15c., probably from wrinkle (v.). Meaning "defect, problem" first recorded 1640s; that of "idea, device, notion" (especially a new one) is from 1817.
wrinkly (adj.) Look up wrinkly at Dictionary.com
early 15c. (in reference to the penis), from wrinkle (n.) + -y (2). As teen slang noun for "old person," from 1972 ("old" being relative; a British reference from 1982 applies it to people in their 40s).
wrist (n.) Look up wrist at Dictionary.com
Old English wrist, from Proto-Germanic *wristiz (cognates: Old Norse rist "instep," Old Frisian wrist, Middle Dutch wrist, German Rist "back of the hand, instep"), from Proto-Germanic *wreik- "to turn" (see wry). The notion is "the turning joint." Wrist-watch is from 1889. Wrist-band is from 1570s as a part of a sleeve, 1969 as a perspiration absorber.
writ (n.) Look up writ at Dictionary.com
Old English writ "something written, piece of writing," from the past participle stem of writan (see write). Used of legal documents or instruments since at least 1121.
write (v.) Look up write at Dictionary.com
Old English writan "to score, outline, draw the figure of," later "to set down in writing" (class I strong verb; past tense wrat, past participle writen), from Proto-Germanic *writan "tear, scratch" (cognates: Old Frisian writa "to write," Old Saxon writan "to tear, scratch, write," Old Norse rita "write, scratch, outline," Old High German rizan "to write, scratch, tear," German reißen "to tear, pull, tug, sketch, draw, design"), outside connections doubtful.
For men use to write an evill turne in marble stone, but a good turne in the dust. [More, 1513]
Words for "write" in most Indo-European languages originally mean "carve, scratch, cut" (such as Latin scribere, Greek grapho, Sanskrit rikh-); a few originally meant "paint" (Gothic meljan, Old Church Slavonic pisati, and most of the modern Slavic cognates). To write (something) off (1680s) originally was from accounting; figurative sense is recorded from 1889. Write-in "unlisted candidate" is recorded from 1932.
write-up (n.) Look up write-up at Dictionary.com
1882, from the verbal phrase; see write (v.) + up (adv.).
writer (n.) Look up writer at Dictionary.com
Old English writere "one who can write, clerk; one who produces books or literary compositions," agent noun from writan (see write (v.)). Meaning "sign-painter" is from 1837. Writer's cramp attested by 1843; writer's block by 1950.
writhe (v.) Look up writhe at Dictionary.com
Old English wriðan (transitive) "to twist or bend," earlier "to bind or fetter," from Proto-Germanic *writhanan (cognates: North Frisian wrial, Old High German ridan, Old Norse riða, Middle Swedish vriþa, Middle Danish vride), from PIE *wreit- "to turn, bend" (see wreath). Intransitive, of the body or limbs, "move in a twisting or tortuous manner," from c.1300. Related: Writhed; writhing.
writing (n.) Look up writing at Dictionary.com
Old English writing "action of forming letters and characters," verbal noun from write (v.). From c.1200 as "text; body of poetry, narrative, etc. in written form; written material." From c.1300 as "a particular text;" mid-14c. as "act of composing a written text." From late 14c. as "craft of writing;" also "one's own handwriting or penmanship." Also late 14c. as "act of sending a letter; a letter, message." Writing-desk is from 1610s.
wrong (adj.) Look up wrong at Dictionary.com
late Old English, "twisted, crooked, wry," from Old Norse rangr, earlier *wrangr "crooked, wry, wrong," from Proto-Germanic *wrang- (cognates: Danish vrang "crooked, wrong," Middle Dutch wranc, Dutch wrang "sour, bitter," literally "that which distorts the mouth"), from PIE *wrengh-, variant of *wergh- "to turn" (see wring).

Sense of "not right, bad, immoral, unjust" developed by c.1300. Wrong thus is etymologically a negative of right (adj.1), which is from Latin rectus, literally "straight." Latin pravus was literally "crooked," but most commonly "wrong, bad;" and other words for "crooked" also have meant "wrong" in Italian and Slavic. Compare French tort "wrong, injustice," from Latin tortus "twisted."

As an adverb from c.1200. Wrong-headed first recorded 1732. To get up on the wrong side (of the bed) "be in a bad mood" is recorded from 1801, according to OED, from its supposed influence on one's temper; it appears in Halliwell's "Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words" in 1846, but doesn't seem to have been used much generally before late 1870s. To be on the wrong side of a given age, "older than," is from 1660s. Wrong side of the road (that reservbed for oncoming traffic) is by 1838. To be from (or on) the wrong side of the tracks "from the poor part of town" is from 1921, American English.
wrong (n.) Look up wrong at Dictionary.com
"that which is improper or unjust," late Old English, from wrong (adj.). Meaning "an unjust action" is recorded from c.1200.
wrong (v.) Look up wrong at Dictionary.com
"to do wrong to," early 14c., from wrong (adj.). Related: Wronged; wronging.
wrongdoing (n.) Look up wrongdoing at Dictionary.com
also wrong-doing, late 15c., from wrong (n.) + doing.
wrongful (adj.) Look up wrongful at Dictionary.com
early 14c., from wrong (n.) + -ful. Related: Wrongfully. Middle English also had adjective wrongous.
wrongly (adv.) Look up wrongly at Dictionary.com
c.1300, from wrong (adj.) + -ly (2).
wroth (adj.) Look up wroth at Dictionary.com
Old English wrað "angry" (literally "tormented, twisted"), from Proto-Germanic *wraith- (cognates: Old Frisian wreth "evil," Old Saxon wred, Middle Dutch wret, Dutch wreed "cruel," Old High German reid, Old Norse reiðr "angry, offended"), from PIE *wreit- "to turn" (see wreath). Rare or obsolete from early 16c. to mid-19c., but somewhat revived since, especially in dignified writing, or this:
Secretary: "The Dean is furious. He's waxing wroth."
Quincy Adams Wagstaf [Groucho]: "Is Roth out there too? Tell Roth to wax the Dean for a while."
["Horse Feathers," 1932]
wrought (adj.) Look up wrought at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., from past participle of Middle English werken (see work (v.)). Wrought iron (1703) is that which is malleable and has been brought into some form.
wry (adj.) Look up wry at Dictionary.com
1520s, "distorted, somewhat twisted to one side," from obsolete verb wry "to contort, to twist or turn," from Old English wrigian "to turn, bend, move, go," from Proto-Germanic *wrig- (cognates: Old Frisian wrigia "to bend," Middle Low German wrich "turned, twisted"), from PIE *wreik- "to turn" (cognates: Greek rhoikos "crooked," Lithuanian raisas "paralysed"), from root *wer- (3) "to turn, bend" (see versus). Of words, thoughts, etc., from 1590s. The original sense is preserved in awry.
wryly (adv.) Look up wryly at Dictionary.com
1570s, from wry + -ly (2).
wryneck (n.) Look up wryneck at Dictionary.com
1580s, from wry + neck (n.). The bird so called from the singular manner in which is can twist the neck.
wunderkind (n.) Look up wunderkind at Dictionary.com
child prodigy (especially in music), 1883 in English (earlier as a German word in German contexts), from German Wunderkind, literally "wonder-child."
Wurlitzer (n.) Look up Wurlitzer at Dictionary.com
type of musical instrument (originally a player piano popular in silent movie theaters, later a type of jukebox), 1925, named for The Wurlitzer Company, founded near Cincinnati, Ohio, 1856 by Rudolph Wurlitzer (1831-1914), Saxon immigrant to U.S. An importer at first, he started production of pianos in 1880; coin-operated pianos in 1896.
wurst (n.) Look up wurst at Dictionary.com
German sausage, 1855, from German Wurst, from Old High German wurst "sausage," probably etymologically "mixture," from Proto-Germanic *wursti-, from PIE *wers- (1) "to confuse, mix up" (see war (n.)).
wuss (n.) Look up wuss at Dictionary.com
1982, abbreviated from wussy.
Mike Damone: You are a wuss: part wimp, and part pussy
["Fast Times at Ridgemont High" script, 1982]