\ 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

Our team is exploring how fungi begin to colonize the newborn gut and what happens when this process goes awry. Kent Willis, The Conversation, "The womb isn’t sterile – healthy babies are born with bacteria and fungi in their guts," 13 Sep. 2019 When Tony Stark’s jumpstart of a dormant peacekeeping program goes awry, the Avengers must reassemble to battle a terrifying technological villain hell-bent on human extinction. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 15, 2019: ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and more," 13 Sep. 2019 The poster for Rock seems to imply dinos are indeed living amongst humans in the wild and that Rock focuses on a family camping trip gone awry. Tim Stack, EW.com, "Secret Jurassic World mini-movie Battle at Big Rock to premiere on FX," 11 Sep. 2019 Meanwhile, SoftBank’s hefty investment in WeWork adds to pressure on Wall Street dealmakers to ensure any public offering doesn’t go awry. Fortune, "WeWork’s Latest Idea to Save Its Troubled IPO: Major Governance Changes," 11 Sep. 2019 As an author, King is familiar with fan enthusiasm gone awry. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "Superfans: A Love Story," 9 Sep. 2019 An Israeli nonprofit sent a small robotic spacecraft named Beresheet to the moon, but its landing attempt in April went awry in a manner similar to Chandrayaan-2. New York Times, "India Loses Contact With Chandrayaan-2 Moon Lander During Its Descent," 6 Sep. 2019 Conducting science at the bottom of the ocean is no small feat, and this isn’t the first time an experiment has gone awry. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "So...Why Did This Underwater Data Station Suddenly Just Disappear?," 5 Sep. 2019 Work also says that the concept of machines entirely picking their own targets or going horribly awry, like something out of the Terminator movies, is unlikely because the offensive technologies being developed have only narrow applications. The Atlantic, "Coming Soon to a Battlefield: Robots That Can Kill," 3 Sep. 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

17 Sep 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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