Wicked vs wicked

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Wicked and wicked  are two words that are spelled identically but are pronounced differently and have different meanings, which makes them heteronyms. We will examine the definitions of the words wicked and wicked, where these words came from, and a few examples of their use in sentences.

Wicked (WICK ud) is an adjective that describes something that is evil, harmful, vicious, or morally vile. Witches are often said to be wicked; however, politicians or vengeful neighbors may also be considered wicked. A storm that causes damage may be said to be wicked. The word wicked is probably derived from the Old English word, wicca, which means wizard.

Wicked (WICKt) is the past tense of the verb, wick, which means to drain fluids or to absorb fluid as a wick does. A wick draws off fluid with a capillary action. The verb wicked only came into use in the mid-20th century. Related words are wick, wicks, wicking. Wick is derived from the Old English word, weoce, which is the wick of a candle or a lamp.


Retired Detective Chief Inspector Keith White, who went on to work for intelligence agencies including MI5, in an interview with ITV News Meridian, said: “To have done what he did…for me, he’s such a wicked man I don’t think he will ever change.” (Salisbury Journal)

“These offences were as cowardly as they were wicked,” Judge Alan Conrad QC told Whittaker and Meek as they were sent down. (Manchester Evening News)

“You had to find the right quality of hat so that it wicked off a lot of the wet guano,” says Sherker. (Hakai Magazine)

Sweat poured from my brow, but the wind was so stiff it wicked away the perspiration droplets as fast as my adrenaline could manufacture it. (Outdoor Life Magazine)