adverb or adjective
\ ə-ˈrī How to pronounce awry (audio) \

Definition of awry

1 : off the correct or expected course : amiss Their plans went awry.
2 : in a turned or twisted position or direction : askew His wig was put on all awry, with the tail straggling about his neck.— Charles Dickens

Examples of awry in a Sentence

In his 1942 story "Runaround," Isaac Asimov offered his now-famous Three Laws of Robotics: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm; a robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law; and a robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. Most of Asimov's stories deal with things going awry because these laws don't equip robots to tackle real-world situations. — Robert J. Sawyer, Science, 16 Nov. 2007 Beer is made up of a complex concoction of substances that stretch well beyond simply that of water and ethanol. There is ample opportunity, then, for things to go awry in the beer-making process. — David Filmore, Today's Chemist at Work, January 2002 If you forget to sign your return, speckle it with correction fluid, or assemble the pages in the wrong order, the agent may take a much closer look to see if anything else is awry. — Janine S. Pouliot, Parenting, April 1997 I was proud of my schoolteacher father. If his suit was out of press, and his necktie knotted awry, I was too new to the world to notice. — John Updike, New Yorker, 10 Mar. 1997
Recent Examples on the Web Chris Evans voices the Space Ranger, who has his confidence shaken when a strange adventure on a distant planet goes awry. Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times, 7 Aug. 2022 Southwest Airlines passengers now have extra flexibility when their plans go awry. Zach Wichter, USA TODAY, 28 July 2022 And this may make a difference with aging when things begin to go awry. Steven Strogatz, Quanta Magazine, 27 July 2022 The key, Salvo says, is in developing the resilience to reshape your plans when things go awry. Kat Eschner, Fortune, 27 July 2022 Fueled by drugs and hard feelings, a party game goes awry and leads to a series of dead bodies and a decreasing bunch of bickering, backstabbing survivors. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 5 Aug. 2022 Oftentimes, if innovation goes awry, like the mental health impact of Facebook and Instagram on youth, in hindsight, there’s remorse for bringing these technologies to life. Elie Ohayon, Forbes, 25 July 2022 Generally, credit card issuers will require you to have paid for your flight or hotel with their card to be eligible for reimbursement if your trip goes awry. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, 16 June 2022 But when the trip goes awry, the social hierarchy onboard shifts. Douglas Greenwood, Vogue, 30 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of awry

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for awry

see wry entry 1

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The first known use of awry was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

1 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Awry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for awry


adverb or adjective
\ ə-ˈrī How to pronounce awry (audio) \

Kids Definition of awry

1 : turned or twisted to one side : askew His hat was all awry.
2 : out of the right course : amiss The plans had gone awry.

More from Merriam-Webster on awry

Nglish: Translation of awry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of awry for Arabic Speakers


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