wrong

noun
\ˈrȯŋ \

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 \; wrongest\ ˈrȯŋ-​əst \

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 \

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 of wronged them of their land

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Other Words from wrong

Adjective

wrongly \ ˈrȯŋ-​lē \ adverb
wrongness noun

Verb

wronger \ ˈrȯŋ-​ər \ 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

With this in mind, Brexit is simply a matter of righting a historic wrong. The Economist, "Meet Dominic Raab: the new Brexit boss," 9 July 2018 And Uber escaped a crackdown in London, one of its most important markets, by apologizing profusely for its past wrongs. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "This Week in the Future of Cars: Unconventional Wisdom," 1 July 2018 The writer-director's latest, Skyscraper, stars his Central Intelligence collaborator Dwayne Johnson as former FBI agent and war veteran Will Sawyer, who lost part of his leg after a hostage situation gone wrong. Aaron Couch, The Hollywood Reporter, "Why 'Skyscraper' Director Will Never Make a Sequel to His Cult Classic 'Dodgeball'," 13 July 2018 Initially, there was some speculation whether Ekkapol, the 25-year-old coach who took the boys into Tham Luang Cave, might be criminally culpable for overseeing a trip gone wrong. Hannah Beech, The Seattle Times, "For some Thai soccer-team members, cave ordeal was only their latest test," 10 July 2018 Companies have been among the most outspoken critics of the split from the European Union, and have much to lose from a divorce gone wrong. Emma Ross-thomas, Bloomberg.com, "Brexit Bulletin: Second Referendum? Business Says No," 17 Apr. 2018 Barnes' letter, obtained by the Star-Telegram, was made available in conjunction with a note that Baylor authored last summer saying Briles was not in the wrong. Mac Engel, star-telegram, "This letter from an ex-Baylor coach exonerates former football coach Art Briles," 29 June 2018 But despite the Dragon Tattoo books’ focus on Salander’s journey to seize self-determination, she is often constrained by the narrative’s own gaze, even when it is mediated through characters who will end up in the wrong. Alice Bolin, Longreads, "The Daughter as Detective," 26 June 2018 One day after the December repeal vote, Pai argued on Fox News that net neutrality supporters had been proven wrong by the fact that ISPs didn't start blocking and throttling websites immediately after the vote. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Net neutrality to die on June 11, as Ajit Pai blasts “special interests”," 10 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Buried deep within Trump’s psyche is the notion that nice white boys simply can’t do anything wrong. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "What Do Women Have to Do to Be Believed?," 20 Sep. 2018 Not that there’s anything wrong with cauliflower and potatoes with ginger and turmeric. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, "Review: India Oven brings the heat on West Avenue," 12 July 2018 Mostly, though, the question just comes at the wrong time. Sarah Lyall, New York Times, "The Bizarre Theater of the World Cup Press Conference," 9 July 2018 Venetian artist Lorenzo Lotto was in the right place at the wrong time. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "A Modern Portraitist, Ahead of His Time," 6 July 2018 Don’t get him wrong — Ferg sees the value in social media. Dan Hyman, chicagotribune.com, "ASAP Ferg has taken everything — rap music, fashion, hype — by storm," 12 July 2018 Don't get me wrong, not every team has to play good football - there's a reason there's so few sides who have done so and won. SI.com, "Why Didier Deschamps Is Still a Problem Regardless of Leading France to the World Cup Final," 12 July 2018 Don't get me wrong—the E-Pace is an attractive-looking car in its own way. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "A sports car in SUV clothing: The Jaguar E-Pace reviewed," 28 June 2018 No initiative is completely right or wrong, but simply reflects a difference of opinion or viewpoint. San Antonio Express-News, "Indefinite detention — as immoral as family separation," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

The Reds completed a two-game sweep of the the Royals this week at Kauffman Stadium, and during Tuesday's game, the Crown Vision board had Cincinnati spelled wrong. Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "Royals' Crown Vision board had Cincinnati spelled wrong during a game," 14 June 2018 In the most recent rendition of the experiment, things went seriously wrong. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "What Happens When a Mars Simulation Goes Awry?," 23 June 2018 In 1976, Stevens was convicted of murder for killing three people in a drug deal gone wrong in Los Gatos. Aidin Vaziri, San Francisco Chronicle, "How Tower of Power endured tragedy to celebrate 50 years as Oakland’s funky ambassadors," 29 May 2018 Though cities have promoted the Olympics as a chance for reinvention, the reality is often an Icarus-like tale of optimistic infrastructure investments gone wrong. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Will LA’s ‘no-build’ Olympics spur Southern California’s next building boom?," 10 July 2018 Standing in his office out of breath, Lister waited to find out what had gone wrong. Kelli Stacy, courant.com, "'I Couldn’t Believe It, Really': Jasmine Lister Recalls Moment of UConn Offer," 2 July 2018 Being onstage can often be harrowing enough — so much can go wrong even without any hecklers in the audience — but this show kicks that concept up a notch. Kasia Pilat, New York Times, "5 Comedy Shows to Catch in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 7 June 2018 Though well intended, the impact of JCAHO on the opioid crisis is an object lesson in regulation gone wrong. Philly.com, "Healthcare regulation, too much and often wrong," 4 June 2018 But his status as a mentor to the club’s young pitchers and his diligence to figure out what has gone wrong this past year is working in his favor. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "As Mets designate Matt Harvey, Orioles not yet at that point with struggling Chris Tillman," 5 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Who hasn’t wanted to set the story straight when they’ve been wronged? Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Shopping While Black: Why I’m No Longer Afraid to Call Time on Racial Profiling," 29 Aug. 2018 But what's an army compared to exorcising your personal demons by exacting revenge on the people who wronged you? Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Preacher ends third season with a pop, not a bang," 28 Aug. 2018 Trump tried to dismiss the NFL players who protest as fame seekers because no one has given him a name of someone wronged by the justice system. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "This is how NFL players are responding to President Trump's rhetoric," 18 June 2018 Yet the fact that hundreds of civilians filed complaints, including against ISIS fighters who had wronged them, suggests that at least some Iraqis believed the terrorist group would do right by them. Rukmini Callimachi, New York Times, "The Case of the Purloined Poultry: How ISIS Prosecuted Petty Crime," 1 July 2018 The report also alleges a long series of misjudgments that Democrats will likely use to support their belief that Clinton was wronged by the FBI. BostonGlobe.com, "Here’s what Hillary Clinton had to say about her e-mails and the IG report on the FBI," 14 June 2018 Nor is there any way of knowing today which paragraph is right and who is wronged. Dave Hyde, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Hyde: A Panthers trade, an added scorer — and a lurid story to sort out | Commentary," 19 June 2018 Hancock is one of several players who is suing the NCAA and is tired of answering the question about prostitutes nearly every day Louisville Courier Journal Luke Hancock has been wronged. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Ex-Card Luke Hancock sympathetic, but law seems to be on NCAA's side," 11 July 2018 To see this woman—this nearly unassailable force of nature—be wronged so deeply was jarring, a vicarious blow that caused visceral pain for countless fans. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Do Beyoncé Fans Have to Forgive Jay-Z?," 18 June 2018

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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Learn More about wrong

Dictionary Entries near wrong

WRO

wrocht

Wrocław

wrong

wrong'un

wrongdoer

wrongdoing

Statistics for wrong

Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wrong

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

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More Definitions for wrong

wrong

noun

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 \

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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Comments on wrong

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