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noun \ˈrȯŋ\

Simple Definition of wrong

  • : behavior that is not morally good or correct

  • : a harmful, unfair, or illegal act

Full Definition of wrong

  1. 1 a :  an injurious, unfair, or unjust act :  action or conduct inflicting harm without due provocation or just cause b :  a violation or invasion of the legal rights of another; especially :  tort

  2. 2 :  something wrong, immoral, or unethical; especially :  principles, practices, or conduct contrary to justice, goodness, equity, or law

  3. 3 :  the state, position, or fact of being or doing wrong: as a :  the state of being mistaken or incorrect b :  the state of being guilty

Examples of wrong

  1. <any reasonable person should be expected to know the difference between right and wrong>

  2. <trying to right all the wrongs in the world>

Origin of wrong

Middle English, from Old English wrang, from *wrang, adjective, wrong

First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of wrong

injustice, injury, wrong, grievance mean an act that inflicts undeserved hurt. injustice applies to any act that involves unfairness to another or violation of one's rights <the injustices suffered by the lower classes>. injury applies in law specifically to an injustice for which one may sue to recover compensation <libel constitutes a legal injury>. wrong applies also in law to any act punishable according to the criminal code; it may apply more generally to any flagrant injustice <determined to right society's wrongs>. grievance applies to a circumstance or condition that constitutes an injustice to the sufferer and gives just ground for complaint <a list of employee grievances>.

Rhymes with wrong




Simple Definition of wrong

  • : not agreeing with the facts or truth

  • : speaking, acting, or judging in a way that does not agree with the facts or truth

  • : not suitable or appropriate for a particular purpose, situation, or person

Full Definition of wrong

wrong·er play \ˈrȯŋ-ər\ wrong·est play \ˈrȯŋ-əst\

  1. 1 :  not according to the moral standard :  sinful, immoral <thought that war was wrong>

  2. 2 :  not right or proper according to a code, standard, or convention :  improper <it was wrong not to thank your host>

  3. 3 :  not according to truth or facts :  incorrect <gave a wrong date>

  4. 4 :  not satisfactory (as in condition, results, health, or temper)

  5. 5 :  not in accordance with one's needs, intent, or expectations <took the wrong bus>

  6. 6 :  of, relating to, or constituting the side of something that is usually held to be opposite to the principal one, that is the one naturally or by design turned down, inward, or away, or that is the least finished or polished

wrong·ly play \ˈrȯŋ-lē\ adverb
wrong·ness noun
wrong side of the tracks
  1. :  a run-down or unfashionable neighborhood

Examples of wrong

  1. I don't want you to get the wrong impression of him.

  2. Don't take this the wrong way, but I think you should start exercising.

  3. Are my actions sending the wrong message?

  4. These pages are in the wrong order.

  5. I got four answers wrong on the test.

  6. You're wrong; the answer is six.

  7. You like baseball, or am I wrong?

  8. Am I wrong in thinking that she should never have gone?

  9. I think her birthday is May 11th, but I could be wrong.

  10. He thinks I can't win, but I'm going to prove him wrong.

Origin of wrong

Middle English, from Old English *wrang, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse rangr awry, wrong, Dan vrang wrong side; akin to Old English wringan to wring

First Known Use: 13th century




Simple Definition of wrong

  • : in a way that does not agree with the facts or truth : in a way that results in an error

  • : in a way that is not suitable, proper, etc.

Full Definition of wrong

  1. 1 :  without accuracy :  incorrectly <guessed wrong>

  2. 2 :  without regard for what is proper or just <was reprimanded for what he had done wrong>

  3. 3 :  in a wrong direction <turned wrong at the junction>

  4. 4 a :  in an unsuccessful or unfortunate way <something went wrong> b :  out of working order or condition

  5. 5 :  in a false light <don't get me wrong>

Examples of wrong

  1. I entered the numbers wrong.

  2. Her name was spelled wrong on the form.

  3. I can't get this to work; could you show me what I did wrong?

13th Century

First Known Use of wrong

13th century




Simple Definition of wrong

  • : to treat (someone) badly or unfairly

Full Definition of wrong

wrongedwrong·ing play \ˈrȯŋ-iŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to do wrong to :  injure, harm b :  to treat disrespectfully or dishonorably :  violate

  3. 2 :  defraud —usually used with of <wronged them of their land>

  4. 3 :  discredit, malign

wrong·er play \ˈrȯŋ-ər\ noun

Examples of wrong

  1. We should forgive those who have wronged us.

  2. As the wronged party, you have the right to sue for damages.

14th Century

First Known Use of wrong

14th century

Synonym Discussion of wrong

wrong, oppress, persecute, aggrieve mean to injure unjustly or outrageously. wrong implies inflicting injury either unmerited or out of proportion to what one deserves <a penal system that had wronged him>. oppress suggests inhumane imposing of burdens one cannot endure or exacting more than one can perform <a people oppressed by a warmongering tyrant>. persecute implies a relentless and unremitting subjection to annoyance or suffering <a child persecuted by constant criticism>. aggrieve implies suffering caused by an infringement or denial of rights <a legal aid society representing aggrieved minority groups>.

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up wrong? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

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