\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Dora and the Lost City of Gold follows her transition into the real world, eventually landing back in the wilderness after a school field trip gone awry. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, "Dora and the Lost City of Gold," 16 Aug. 2019 Things, of course, go awry, and the drone's smashed to smithereens, meaning the boys must skip school to replace the gadget all the while accidentally stealing drugs. Garrett Mitchell, azcentral, "Review: Smells like 'tween' spirit in 'Good Boys'," 15 Aug. 2019 But, as season 1 showed us, things went awry pretty quickly. Nick Romano, EW.com, "The Boys season 2 gets a blood-soaked first look: 'We're up to our old tricks'," 10 Aug. 2019 Where the show goes awry isn't in its fight choreography, which Uwais oversaw and—at least in the three episodes Netflix made available—is both entertaining and PG-13 enough to welcome a broad audience. Peter Rubin, WIRED, "Wu Assassins Gives Netflix New Footing in Streaming's Battle Royale," 8 Aug. 2019 That plan went awry even before Mr. Trump, who has acknowledged his discomfort with showing empathy in public, departed Washington. Michael Crowley, New York Times, "Trump Uses a Day of Healing to Deepen the Nation’s Divisions," 7 Aug. 2019 Things, of course, go awry, and the drone’s smashed to smithereens, meaning the boys must skip school to replace the gadget all the while accidentally stealing drugs. Garrett Mitchell, Detroit Free Press, "The kids are all right in raunchy ‘Good Boys’," 31 July 2019 With dissent sure to bubble up if results show any sign of going awry, there’s a widespread expectation that Newcastle will struggle this season. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "After a Summer of Departures, Mike Ashley's Actions May Ruin Newcastle's Season," 2 Aug. 2019 When things go awry on the day of the Michelin inspector’s visit, M. Amité takes his frustration out on Apollo, who dashes off in a huff. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "A Steinbeck Story About a Chef and His Cat Has Been Published in English for the First Time," 1 Aug. 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.

See More

First Known Use of awry

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for awry

see wry entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about awry

Statistics for awry

Last Updated

20 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for awry

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


to move or obtain by small maneuvers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!