wrong

noun
\ ˈrȯŋ How to pronounce wrong (audio) \

Definition of wrong

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : an injurious, unfair, or unjust act : action or conduct inflicting harm without due provocation or just cause
b : a violation or invasion of the legal rights of another especially : tort
2 : something wrong, immoral, or unethical especially : principles, practices, or conduct contrary to justice, goodness, equity, or law
3 : the state, position, or fact of being or doing wrong: such as
a : the state of being mistaken or incorrect
b : the state of being guilty

wrong

adjective
wronger\ ˈrȯŋ-​ər How to pronounce wronger (audio) \; wrongest\ ˈrȯŋ-​əst How to pronounce wrongest (audio) \

Definition of wrong (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : not according to the moral standard : sinful, immoral thought that war was wrong
2 : not right or proper according to a code, standard, or convention : improper it was wrong not to thank your host
3 : not according to truth or facts : incorrect gave a wrong date
4 : not satisfactory (as in condition, results, health, or temper)
5 : not in accordance with one's needs, intent, or expectations took the wrong bus
6 : of, relating to, or constituting the side of something that is usually held to be opposite to the principal one, that is the one naturally or by design turned down, inward, or away, or that is the least finished or polished
wrong side of the tracks
: a run-down or unfashionable neighborhood

wrong

adverb

Definition of wrong (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : without accuracy : incorrectly guessed wrong
2 : without regard for what is proper or just was reprimanded for what he had done wrong
3 : in a wrong direction turned wrong at the junction
4a : in an unsuccessful or unfortunate way something went wrong
b : out of working order or condition
5 : in a false light don't get me wrong

wrong

verb
wronged; wronging\ ˈrȯŋ-​iŋ How to pronounce wronging (audio) \

Definition of wrong (Entry 4 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to do wrong to : injure, harm
b : to treat disrespectfully or dishonorably : violate
2 : defraud usually used with ofwronged them of their land

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Other Words from wrong

Adjective

wrongly \ ˈrȯŋ-​lē How to pronounce wrongly (audio) \ adverb
wrongness noun

Verb

wronger \ ˈrȯŋ-​ər How to pronounce wronger (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for wrong

Noun

injustice, injury, wrong, grievance mean an act that inflicts undeserved hurt. injustice applies to any act that involves unfairness to another or violation of one's rights. the injustices suffered by the lower classes injury applies in law specifically to an injustice for which one may sue to recover compensation. libel constitutes a legal injury wrong applies also in law to any act punishable according to the criminal code; it may apply more generally to any flagrant injustice. determined to right society's wrongs grievance applies to a circumstance or condition that constitutes an injustice to the sufferer and gives just ground for complaint. a list of employee grievances

Verb

wrong, oppress, persecute, aggrieve mean to injure unjustly or outrageously. wrong implies inflicting injury either unmerited or out of proportion to what one deserves. a penal system that had wronged him oppress suggests inhumane imposing of burdens one cannot endure or exacting more than one can perform. a people oppressed by a warmongering tyrant persecute implies a relentless and unremitting subjection to annoyance or suffering. a child persecuted by constant criticism aggrieve implies suffering caused by an infringement or denial of rights. a legal aid society representing aggrieved minority groups

Examples of wrong in a Sentence

Noun any reasonable person should be expected to know the difference between right and wrong trying to right all the wrongs in the world Adjective I don't want you to get the wrong impression of him. Don't take this the wrong way, but I think you should start exercising. Are my actions sending the wrong message? These pages are in the wrong order. I got four answers wrong on the test. You're wrong; the answer is six. You like baseball, or am I wrong? Am I wrong in thinking that she should never have gone? I think her birthday is May 11th, but I could be wrong. He thinks I can't win, but I'm going to prove him wrong. Adverb I entered the numbers wrong. Her name was spelled wrong on the form. I can't get this to work; could you show me what I did wrong? Verb We should forgive those who have wronged us. As the wronged party, you have the right to sue for damages.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The concept was developed to always make the defender in Adams’ position wrong. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: What kind of impact would a do-it-all safety like Jamal Adams have in the Cowboys’ defense?," 22 June 2020 Two teenage science nerds in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn build a makeshift time machine to right a tragic wrong. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Skip The Help. Celebrate Juneteenth by watching a few of these 25 films.," 19 June 2020 To right that wrong, fans of the genre have to open themselves up to the criminally underrated work of Black composers and make an effort to uplift them right alongside Beethoven and Chopin. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "Did History White-Wash Beethoven?," 19 June 2020 Too often police are beacons of morality who never do wrong. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Amid George Floyd protests, is it time for cop TV shows to be canceled for good?," 5 June 2020 Nick would rather fix things to his own advantage than tell apart good from evil, right from wrong. The New Yorker, "What We’re Reading This Summer," 7 June 2020 Left v right v wrong Just as misinformation is not new, nor is its political use. The Economist, "Return of the paranoid style Fake news is fooling more conservatives than liberals. Why?," 3 June 2020 Don’t let its name steer your wrong—there are plenty of ways to get an amazing amount of use out of this set without leaving your house. Tessa Bahoosh, USA TODAY, "10 things you didn't know you could get at Tempur-Pedic," 3 June 2020 Trump supporters and opponents have accused one another of twisting facts about the drug to make the president look either right or wrong. BostonGlobe.com, "Malaria drug promoted by Trump did not prevent COVID infections, study finds," 3 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Meng is the daughter of Ren Zhengfei, Huawei’s founder and CEO, who has consistently denied that Huawei has done anything wrong. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "Pompeo accuses China of 'hostage-taking' to pressure Canada on Huawei," 1 July 2020 Tiffany Hensley had a gut feeling something was wrong. Jonathan Bullington, The Courier-Journal, "'We want to raise our children to be very much like their Uncle Tyler' Gerth, sisters say," 1 July 2020 Cell culture experiments have been wrong before, noted Anderson Brito, a computational biologist at Yale University. Anchorage Daily News, "Coronavirus mutation has taken over the world. Scientists are trying to understand why.," 29 June 2020 Crozier, 62, realized something was wrong on June 18. Sasha Hupka, The Arizona Republic, "'Please just respect one other': Hospitalized former Gilbert councilman with COVID-19 shares story," 27 June 2020 But if the experts were wrong — if the virus could spread from seemingly healthy carriers or people who had not yet developed symptoms — the ramifications were potentially catastrophic. Matt Apuzzo, BostonGlobe.com, "How the world missed COVID-19’s silent spread," 27 June 2020 So one of them must be wrong—but scientists do not know which. Scott Hershberger, Scientific American, "How Long Do Neutrons Live? Space Probe Could Put Debate to Rest," 25 June 2020 Economists go into the exercise knowing full well their predictions of the future will be wrong—either by a lot, or by a little less than a lot. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Coronavirus fears are beginning to crash the great stock markets party," 24 June 2020 Carpenter said the idea that racist monuments need to be left alone to preserve history is wrong. oregonlive, "University of Oregon ignored calls for removal of racist statue, student group says," 24 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The trouble is, any number of things can go wrong along this path. Dan Thurot, Ars Technica, "Black Angel review: Run your own tabletop “generation ship”," 20 June 2020 In court documents, officers later acknowledged a dispatcher had spelled her name wrong when entering it into a database. oregonlive, "As TriMet pledges to retain transit police, Latinx leader arrested in 2018 pushes for more reforms," 19 June 2020 But something went very wrong on Monday, as the carrier experienced a glitch that knocked out voice and texting for customers around the country. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "eBay’s former CEO is getting off too easily in its ugly cyberstalking scandal," 16 June 2020 Congressman Levy decides to negotiate with them and this goes horribly wrong so fast, as everyone quickly turns on one another. Rachel Paige, refinery29.com, "Let Us Walk You Through The Bonkers Ending Of Netflix’s Reality Z," 11 June 2020 One strategist is convinced, albeit without any hard evidence, that the PBOC also has a team of traders who push the yuan around, wrong-footing other investors. The Economist, "The 24-body problem The yuan has been one of the world’s most stable major currencies," 11 June 2020 In order to fix consistent problems, leaders need to have an open conversation about what’s going wrong in the first place. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "How to have more productive conversations about race in the workplace," 10 June 2020 If the model successfully worked for high school football in its inaugural year in 2019, what could hypothetically go wrong in balancing the power and crown one hoops team for state supremacy in 2021? Richard Obert, azcentral, "Players leaving for prep school heating up talk for Arizona high school basketball open division," 7 June 2020 Nelson gets his question wrong and lets go of his missile. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "The Challenge: Total Madness recap: Challenge legends finally go head-to-head," 4 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Dylan McDermott and Darren Criss, features fictional characters and real-life icons, including Rock Hudson (played by Jake Picking), Hattie McDaniel (Queen Latifah) and Anna May Wong (Michelle Krusiec), whom Murphy feels were wronged. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "Jim Parsons on moving far away from Sheldon Cooper in Ryan Murphy's 'Hollywood'," 4 May 2020 Suey Sing Tong elders decided that Low Sing had been wronged and demanded that the Kwong Ducks pay reparations. Gary Kamiya, SFChronicle.com, "When SF police broke the law to combat Chinatown’s violent gangs," 13 Dec. 2019 But regardless of their own identities, our student journalists must be allowed — and must have the courage — to cover our community freely and unfettered by harassment each time members of the community feel they have been wronged. BostonGlobe.com, "Conservative writer Ben Shapiro.," 14 Nov. 2019 One is, does anybody feel they were wronged as a team by Houston? Evan Grant, Dallas News, "Why Greg Bird may have a real chance to overtake Ronald Guzman as Rangers’ first baseman," 19 Feb. 2020 Often, gunmen are longtime employees who feel wronged by the company or believe their work is not appreciated. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "Workplace mass shootings are rare. Milwaukee rampage was the first of 2020.," 27 Feb. 2020 Both films observed not merely social injustice but the conflicted emotions of people who feel variously wronged, as well as their different methods of achieving forgiveness and recovering their humanity. Armond White, National Review, "Just Mercy Proves Art Is Not Activism," 24 Jan. 2020 Matthew 18, the scripture that prescribes how to reconcile with someone who has wronged you, was pushed in his face. USA Today, "‘The tongue is a fire’: Southern Baptist church fractures over secrets and spiritual abuse," 13 Feb. 2020 Li is now widely seen in China as a whistleblower and a hero who should have been listened to, and whom authorities wronged. Jane Li, Quartz, "Chinese people are using “Les Misérables” and “Chernobyl” to mourn coronavirus whistleblower," 7 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wrong.' 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 wrong

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for wrong

Noun

Middle English, from Old English wrang, from *wrang, adjective, wrong

Adjective

Middle English, from Old English *wrang, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse rangr awry, wrong, Danish vrang wrong side; akin to Old English wringan to wring

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Time Traveler for wrong

Time Traveler

The first known use of wrong was before the 12th century

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Statistics for wrong

Last Updated

3 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wrong.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wrong. Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for wrong

wrong

noun
How to pronounce wrong (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of wrong

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: behavior that is not morally good or correct
: a harmful, unfair, or illegal act

wrong

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of wrong (Entry 2 of 4)

: not agreeing with the facts or truth
: speaking, acting, or judging in a way that does not agree with the facts or truth
: not suitable or appropriate for a particular purpose, situation, or person

wrong

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of wrong (Entry 3 of 4)

: in a way that does not agree with the facts or truth : in a way that results in an error
: in a way that is not suitable, proper, etc.

wrong

verb

English Language Learners Definition of wrong (Entry 4 of 4)

: to treat (someone) badly or unfairly

wrong

adjective
\ ˈrȯŋ How to pronounce wrong (audio) \

Kids Definition of wrong

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : not the one wanted or intended I took the wrong train.
2 : not correct or true : false Your addition is wrong.
3 : not right : sinful, evil It is wrong to lie.
4 : not satisfactory : causing unhappiness You're upset. What's wrong?
5 : not suitable This coat is the wrong size.
6 : made so as to be placed down or under and not to be seen the wrong side of cloth
7 : not proper He swallowed something the wrong way.
8 : not working correctly Something's wrong with the car.

Other Words from wrong

wrongly adverb

wrong

noun

Kids Definition of wrong (Entry 2 of 4)

: something (as an idea, rule, or action) that is not right

wrong

adverb

Kids Definition of wrong (Entry 3 of 4)

: in the wrong direction, manner, or way I answered wrong.

wrong

verb
wronged; wronging

Kids Definition of wrong (Entry 4 of 4)

: to treat badly or unfairly

wrong

noun

Legal Definition of wrong

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a violation of the rights of another especially : tort
2 : something (as conduct, practices, or qualities) contrary to justice, goodness, equity, or law the difference between right and wrong

Legal Definition of wrong (Entry 2 of 2)

: to do a wrong to : treat with injustice

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More from Merriam-Webster on wrong

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wrong

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wrong

Spanish Central: Translation of wrong

Nglish: Translation of wrong for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wrong for Arabic Speakers

Comments on wrong

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