wrong·​ful | \ ˈrȯŋ-fəl How to pronounce wrongful (audio) \

Definition of wrongful

1 : wrong, unjust
2a : having no legal sanction : unlawful
b : having no legal claim a wrongful heir

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Other Words from wrongful

wrongfully \ ˈrȯŋ-​fə-​lē How to pronounce wrongfully (audio) \ adverb
wrongfulness noun

Examples of wrongful in a Sentence

He is suing his former employer for wrongful termination. charged with wrongful possession of narcotics

Recent Examples on the Web

In a major reversal, the presiding judge of Cook County’s Criminal Division ruled Wednesday that for the first time in 16 years the state’s attorney’s office can handle wrongful conviction cases involving disgraced ex-Chicago police Cmdr. Megan Crepeau, chicagotribune.com, "Judge decides Kim Foxx’s office can handle cases involving alleged torture by Jon Burge, detectives," 8 July 2019 Ashe said the hope is that others engaging in wrongful practices will take notice of the action against Grand Teton Professionals. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Consumers lose thousands to fake credit repair scheme," 5 July 2019 Named as defendants are the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the state police and six individual troopers, allegedly complicit in a pattern of wrongful stops that has gone on since at least early 2017, after President Donald Trump took office. Jeff Gammage, ProPublica, "ACLU Sues Pennsylvania State Police, Alleging They’ve Overstepped in Acting as Immigration Authorities," 5 July 2019 The exonerated men filed a lawsuit against the city in 2003 for wrongful conviction. Elizabeth Hernandez, The Denver Post, "CU’s Korey Wise Innocence Project sees boost in donations in wake of “When They See Us” series on Central Park Five," 29 June 2019 That would be an unmitigated disaster: Control of Taiwan would allow Beijing to menace Japan’s southwest islands and the U.S. Marine base on Okinawa, to enforce its wrongful claim to the South China Sea. Seth Cropsey, WSJ, "America’s Stake in Taiwan," 18 June 2019 In addition to fraud, the claim alleges wrongful termination and other violations of state law. David Hernandez, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Fired Chula Vista senior council aide files claim against the city," 28 June 2019 The district ended its long-running relationship with Jasmine Engineering after the investigation began, and the company sued the district in response, alleging wrongful termination of its contract. Krista Torralva, ExpressNews.com, "Harlandale ISD board braces for state action," 13 June 2019 Trump responded by suing those owners, too, demanding $75 million for wrongful termination. Heather Vogell, ProPublica, "Trump Companies Accused of Tax Evasion in Panama," 3 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of wrongful

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

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

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English Language Learners Definition of wrongful

: not legal, fair, or moral


wrong·​ful | \ ˈrȯŋ-fəl How to pronounce wrongful (audio) \

Kids Definition of wrongful


wrong·​ful | \ ˈrȯŋ-fəl How to pronounce wrongful (audio) \

Legal Definition of wrongful

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

Other Words from wrongful

wrongfully adverb
wrongfulness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on wrongful

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wrongful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wrongful

Spanish Central: Translation of wrongful

Nglish: Translation of wrongful for Spanish Speakers

Comments on wrongful

What made you want to look up wrongful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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