\ 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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web The researchers found that revisions were more likely to go awry when forecasters dialed up the scores — by going, say, from predicting a 2-1 final score to 3-2. Washington Post, "People who second-guess themselves make worse decisions, study finds," 7 Jan. 2020 The fake punt that went awry when punter Arryn Siposs received a bad snap and then overthrew his target had heads shaking. Giana Han, al, "Grading Auburn’s 2019 season," 5 Jan. 2020 Yes, this year’s second-half struggles were due in large part to Stafford’s back injury, but things went awry in 2018 when Stafford ran out of healthy bodies to throw the ball to. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Should the Detroit Lions draft Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy at No. 3?," 2 Jan. 2020 Indeed, Montana Public Radio reported that some Montana and North Dakota farmers are seeking roughly $7 million in damages from CBD deals gone awry. Jenni Avins, Quartz, "The number of US acres devoted to hemp is 100 times greater than five years ago," 31 Dec. 2019 The women took refuge in a Catholic church, but their protest quickly went awry when the government cut off its power and water and surrounded the building with police officers. Frances Robles, New York Times, "Nicaragua Frees Political Prisoners After International Pressure," 30 Dec. 2019 Riley was named in a lawsuit for a similar situation after a July 2008 search went awry for a 75-year-old man’s grandson. Lateshia Beachum, Washington Post, "Police arrested and used a stun gun on a grandmother three times for not letting them enter her home," 30 Dec. 2019 Pickens, in short, pleads for mercy from Washington in his letter, while Livingston offers sundry particulars of what went awry. al, "Alabama’s mortifying miscount of 1820 Census; and the tally is still wrong," 28 Dec. 2019 That plan goes awry when Imperial baddie Moff Gideon arrives with a formidable entourage of stormtroopers. Alex Kane, USA TODAY, "The Mandalorian recap: Chapter 8 ‘Redemption’," 27 Dec. 2019

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.

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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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Time Traveler for awry

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for awry

Last Updated

22 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Awry.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/awry. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for awry

How to pronounce awry (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of awry

: not working correctly or happening in the expected way
: not straight or neat
\ 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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on awry

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for awry

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with awry

Spanish Central: Translation of awry

Nglish: Translation of awry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of awry for Arabic Speakers

Comments on awry

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


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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