\ 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

There was an airplane crash a couple of years before, a carbon monoxide poisoning at a hotel several years earlier and a few times when Beach Week went awry, landing multiple injuries in the ER at once. Washington Post, "Doctor says Virginia Beach shooting tested emergency room," 6 July 2019 But before those early-teen hormones can course too freely, things go awry. Peter Rubin, WIRED, "In Season 3, Stranger Things Rediscovers Its Groove," 4 July 2019 Five years ago, when the former student, Alonzo Yanes, was a sophomore at Beacon High School, a competitive public school in Manhattan, he was engulfed in flames after a chemistry experiment went awry. Eliza Shapiro, New York Times, "$60 Million Awarded to N.Y. Student Engulfed in Flames in Chemistry Accident," 1 July 2019 This can go awry, however, when Mint is no longer omniscient—for instance, when the app loses access to a connected account. Matthew De Silva, Quartz, "Venmo is sharing your payments with everyone—except Mint," 27 June 2019 On September 18, 1980, routine maintenance on an Titan II went awry. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "America Never Had a Chernobyl. But It Came Close.," 5 June 2019 Although Waymo’s self-driving technology is widely considered to be the world’s most advanced, it still isn’t adept enough to be trusted without a human poised to take control in case something goes awry with the robot. Washington Post, "Waymo teams up with Renault, Nissan on robotaxis outside US," 20 June 2019 Some of what went awry can obviously be second guessed, but most of what happened here is the product of a smart and aggressive management process yielding hilariously bad results. Andrew Sharp, SI.com, "Anthony Davis Trade Winners and Losers: The Lakers Jackpot, Pelicans Haul and Celtics Disaster," 16 June 2019 In a resurrection myth from ancient Greece, the powerful god Apollo accidentally kills Hyacinth, a beautiful Spartan prince, when a playful game of throwing a metal discus goes tragically awry. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "MOCA on the rebound? Three strong shows and free entry are welcome signs of change," 12 June 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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Learn More about awry

Statistics for awry

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for awry

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

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More Definitions for awry

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with awry

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for awry

Spanish Central: Translation of awry

Nglish: Translation of awry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of awry for Arabic Speakers

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