adverb or adjective

: off the right path or route : straying
: in error : away from what is proper or desirable

Examples of astray in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But Wang’s analysis also reveals where the CCP is going astray. Rana Mitter, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 Don’t let anyone interfere with your decisions or lead you astray. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, 3 Jan. 2024 Conservative critics were not the only viewers led astray by the play’s racial cues. Thomas Chatterton Williams, The Atlantic, 9 Feb. 2024 Don’t let anyone lead you astray or compromise your position. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, 1 Feb. 2024 Foreign agents spread his false information as fact, and the enemy is led deliciously astray. Dan Piepenbring, Harper's Magazine, 9 Jan. 2024 Increasingly, even people who likely support some of the most common and visible examples of these efforts (parental leave, fair pay, and hiring processes that promote objectivity and mitigate bias) are questioning whether the movement that produced these policies has gone astray. Joelle Emerson, Fortune, 4 Jan. 2024 But note that there have been reports of content going astray already. David Phelan, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 Unfortunately, the gift-guide industrial complex is likely to lead you astray. Kelly Conaboy, The Atlantic, 7 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'astray.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Anglo-French estraié wandering, from estraier to stray — more at stray

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of astray was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near astray

Cite this Entry

“Astray.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


adverb or adjective
: off the right path or route
: in or into error

More from Merriam-Webster on astray

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