wrongful

adjective

wrong·​ful ˈrȯŋ-fəl How to pronounce wrongful (audio)
1
2
a
: having no legal sanction : unlawful
b
: having no legal claim
a wrongful heir
wrongfully adverb
wrongfulness noun

Example Sentences

He is suing his former employer for wrongful termination. charged with wrongful possession of narcotics
Recent Examples on the Web Eyewitness misidentification is the leading factor in wrongful convictions, according to the Innocence Project. cleveland, 31 Jan. 2023 In the years after his release Calvin partnered closely with the Innocence Project and the Georgia Innocence Project and fought passionately alongside them to help and correct wrongful convictions. Calvin Johnson, ajc, 23 Jan. 2023 The public should view public defenders as the first line of defense against wrongful convictions, which are now regularly in the news, Carder said. John Lynch, Arkansas Online, 26 Dec. 2022 In many cases, such as wrongful convictions or nonviolent offenses, the argument for clemency can seem easy to make. Teresa Mathew, The New Yorker, 22 Dec. 2022 False confessions continue to result in wrongful convictions. Saul Kassin, Time, 16 Dec. 2022 Official misconduct plays a role in half of all wrongful convictions in America, according to a study by the National Registry of Exonerations. Ben Brasch, Washington Post, 13 Dec. 2022 Tennesseans are claiming that a flawed medical examiner led to wrongful convictions throughout the state. Cherie Saunders, USA TODAY, 2 Dec. 2022 Stories about wrongful convictions open our eyes to systemic injustices in the U.S. court system. Longreads, 1 Dec. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wrongful.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of wrongful was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near wrongful

Cite this Entry

“Wrongful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wrongful. Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

wrongful

adjective
wrong·​ful ˈrȯŋ-fəl How to pronounce wrongful (audio)
1
: wrong entry 2 sense 1
a wrongful act
2
: unlawful
wrongful possession of another's property
wrongfully adverb
wrongfulness noun

Legal Definition

wrongful

adjective
wrong·​ful ˈrȯŋ-fəl How to pronounce wrongful (audio)
1
: constituting a wrong
especially : injurious to the rights of another
a wrongful act or omission
2
: unlawful
remained in wrongful occupation of the property
a wrongful occupant
wrongfully adverb
wrongfulness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on wrongful

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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