\ə-ˈstrā \

Definition of astray 

1 : off the right path or route : straying

2 : in error : away from what is proper or desirable

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Synonyms & Antonyms for astray


afield, amiss, awry, wrong


aright, right, well

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Examples of astray in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Rehabilitating Chechen wives who went astray in the clutch of the Islamic State sends a signal, analysts say, that alternatives to extremism exist. Washington Post, "Forgiven by her native Chechnya, a woman is returned from Islamic State," 2 July 2018 Some expats maintain a U.S. address or give a power-of-attorney to a U.S. person to ensure that official mail doesn’t go astray. Laura Saunders, WSJ, "Thousands of Americans Will Be Denied a Passport Because of Unpaid Taxes," 6 July 2018 Someone notes that when things were going astray, who was going to call her on it? Randy Cordova, azcentral, "In revealing documentary 'Whitney,' a superstar's life unravels," 5 July 2018 Conservation director Emily Manderson thinks the bird might be a young male who wandered astray, looking for love. Molly Glentzer, Houston Chronicle, "The Houston Arboretum’s newest resident: An exotic peacock," 15 June 2018 And, after all, this should make some appeal to communists — for many of them are grown-up children who have temporarily wandered astray. John Kelly, Washington Post, "May Day used to be a big deal in Washington. Could it ever be again?," 30 Apr. 2018 One in four Americans has failed a diet — because their partner led them astray, according to new research. Zoya Gervis, Fox News, "Your partner may be your biggest dieting enemy, study finds," 29 June 2018 In 2013 a team of researchers from the University of Texas at Austin successfully led astray an $80 million yacht in the Mediterranean, overpowering its GPS receivers and sending it onto a new course. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "The New Arms Race Threatening to Explode in Space," 26 June 2018 Stockmarket sticklers can similarly lead others astray. The Economist, "Most stockmarket returns come from a tiny fraction of shares," 23 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'astray.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of astray

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for astray

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

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Time Traveler for astray

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

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English Language Learners Definition of astray

: off the right path or route

: away from what is right, good, or desirable

\ə-ˈstrā \

Kids Definition of astray

1 : off the right path or route Our rocket went astray after liftoff.

2 : in or into error Their plans have gone astray.

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More from Merriam-Webster on astray

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with astray

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for astray

Spanish Central: Translation of astray

Nglish: Translation of astray for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of astray for Arabic Speakers

Comments on astray

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


a nest or breeding place

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