Entries linking to wretched
Old English wrecca "wretch, stranger, exile," from Proto-Germanic *wrakjon "pursuer; one pursued" (source also of 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."
c. 1200, extended form of earlier wick "bad, wicked, false" (12c.), which apparently is an adjectival use of Old English wicca "wizard" (see witch). Formed as if a past participle, but there is no corresponding verb. For evolution, compare wretched from wretch. Slang ironic sense of "wonderful" first attested 1920, in F. Scott Fitzgerald. As an adverb from early 15c. Related: Wickedly.
<a href="https://www.etymonline.com/word/wretched">Etymology of wretched by etymonline</a>
Harper, D. (n.d.). Etymology of wretched. Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved $(datetime), from https://www.etymonline.com/word/wretched
Harper Douglas, “Etymology of wretched,” Online Etymology Dictionary, accessed $(datetime), https://www.etymonline.com/word/wretched.
Harper, Douglas. “Etymology of wretched.” Online Etymology Dictionary, https://www.etymonline.com/word/wretched. Accessed $(datetimeMla).
D. Harper. “Etymology of wretched.” Online Etymology Dictionary. https://www.etymonline.com/word/wretched (accessed $(datetime)).
Definitions of wretched
of very poor quality or condition;
characterized by physical misery;
spent a wretched night on the floor
very unhappy; full of misery;
wretched prisoners huddled in stinking cages