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

Almost four months ago, the bankrupt estate of Sears Holdings Corp. sued Eddie Lampert and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over allegedly wrongful transfers of $2 billion in company assets. Josh Saul, Fortune, "Eddie Lampert and Steven Mnuchin Want Sears Insurance Policies to Pay Their Legal Fees," 9 Aug. 2019 The passenger, who was the owner of the car, was cited for wrongful entrustment. Cheryl Higley, cleveland.com, "Runaway paver crashes into car: North Ridgeville police blotter," 2 Aug. 2019 In September 2015, United wrote to Williams, noting his lack of a license and the resulting wrongful payments, totaling $636,637. Marshall Allen, ProPublica, "Health Insurers Make It Easy for Scammers to Steal Millions. Who Pays? You.," 19 July 2019 Knox, 32, has been occupied with activism related to wrongful convictions. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Amanda Knox’s ‘shameless’ request: We want you all to pay for our outrageous wedding," 24 July 2019 Former Elkhart police Detective Steve Rezutko died in an apparent suicide this year, amid an unrelated wrongful-conviction lawsuit against the city of Elkhart and several police officers. Christian Sheckler, ProPublica, "The Questionable Conviction, and Re-Conviction, of Ricky Joyner," 20 July 2019 The city's largest prior payout for wrongful conviction was $6.5 million to Chante Ott, who spent 13 years in prison for a homicide actually committed by serial killer Walter Ellis. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Settlement calls for Milwaukee to pay $7.5 million to man convicted based on bogus bite mark evidence," 11 July 2019 But Fairstein isn’t legally liable for the wrongful conviction. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "A changing America finally demands that the Central Park Five prosecutors face consequences," 8 July 2019 Other projects on its website include wrongful convictions, police use of force, and life sentences for juveniles. Uriel J. Garcia, azcentral, "Phoenix police union defends officers identified in report of racist Facebook comments," 6 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

13 Aug 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).


of or relating to the heavens

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