wretch

A wretch is someone who is so miserable and unlucky that you almost have to feel sorry for the person. You might pity the poor wretch who was fired at work over something that wasn’t even his fault.

Wretch traces back to the Old English word wrecca, meaning “banished person” — so no wonder a wretch is so unhappy! A wretch is in such a bad situation that a sense of pity typically goes along with the word, and you’ll often see the terms “poor wretch” or “unfortunate wretch.” Wretch can also be used more informally to describe someone who’s wicked or hateful, like that ungrateful wretch who complained to the boss when you brought snacks to work.

Definitions of wretch
  1. noun
    someone you feel sorry for
    synonyms: poor devil
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    type of:
    victim
    an unfortunate person who suffers from some adverse circumstance
  2. noun
    someone who performs some wicked deed
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    type of:
    miscreant, reprobate
    a person without moral scruples
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