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 of wronged 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

Biden looked at Harris, a daughter of Brown v. Board of Education, and did not see his wrongs. Jeneé Osterheldt, BostonGlobe.com, "‘And that little girl was me’: A fighter’s mantra," 5 July 2019 Some of this will always be feel, and the disappointment of guessing wrong does not disappear. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "Giants’ old-school players are buying into new-school defensive shifting," 4 July 2019 Cold cases are reopened, and characters from Brodie’s past (and the earlier books) reappear, bent either on villainy or on avenging some terrible wrong. The Economist, "Jackson Brodie returns in “Big Sky”," 4 July 2019 Young's message were the subject of a grand jury investigation, but ultimately no wrong doing was found. Sharon Coolidge, Cincinnati.com, "No restraining order on any Cincinnati City Council text messages, but court case over private texts continues," 2 July 2019 Anyone truly due reparations for the past wrongs is dead. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: Many very simple ways to make up for sins of slavery," 26 June 2019 Those thinking Patridge will divulge more information about this on The Hills: New Beginnings are wrong. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Make the Women of The Hills Famous Again," 24 June 2019 But he’s already set the tone, set the pace, set the rules of the game. Instead of distancing themselves from Roy Moore’s anger and judgment and puritanical righteous wrongs, his GOP challengers instead determined to out-Roy Roy. John Archibald | Jarchibald@al.com, al.com, "Roy Moore already won," 20 June 2019 And please take a moment to read the cover story for the July issue of Fortune, a highly readable account by Aric Jenkins about what has gone wrong—and what may yet go right—with virtual reality. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Facebook's Libra Cryptocurrency and Its Generational Divide — Data Sheet," 20 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

But a little more than two months short of its third birthday, things went wrong for Washington’s first-of-a-kind Asian water dragon. Martin Weil, Washington Post, "Unique water dragon dies at zoo; was born without male contribution," 6 July 2019 The trouble is, experts are routinely wrong, and practically no policy, no matter how meticulously crafted, ever passes Congress nowadays. John Patrick Leary, The New Republic, "How Washington’s Elite Learned to Love Policy Wonks," 5 July 2019 Home warranty companies run lots of ads promising to save you thousands of dollars when something goes wrong with your refrigerator, furnace, plumbing, and other appliances and systems. SFChronicle.com, "Don’t bother with home warranties," 5 July 2019 Dozens of people, many armed with Bibles, packed the meeting room and declared that doing so would be morally wrong. Kristen Taketa, San Diego Union-Tribune, "LGBT advocacy goes back decades in San Diego Unified," 5 July 2019 These should be noted in the item description, along with anything that's wrong with the hardware. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "Used Samsung Galaxy phones: A guide on where and how to buy one," 2 July 2019 Environmentalists can learn some lessons from what the pro-immigration campaigners got wrong. The Economist, "Environmentalism is emerging as Europe’s new culture war," 29 June 2019 So when something does go wrong, what is your favorite problem to solve? House Beautiful, "The Best Use for an Awkward Wall Niche + Other Design Problems, Solved," 28 June 2019 Against this background, there is an inconvenient fact that no one in government wants to hear: almost the entirety of the public narrative that shapes federal and state opioid policy is wrong. STAT, "Stop persecuting doctors for legitimately prescribing opioids for chronic pain," 28 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Two workers were killed and another seriously injured during a training exercise gone wrong at Royal Dutch Shell's Auger platform in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Two killed, one injured at Shell deepwater platform," 1 July 2019 Several things did go wrong, but the real drama lay in the gnawing anticipation of fatal catastrophe. Dallas News, "Books examine the courage and scientific know-how that propelled us to the moon," 1 July 2019 As for Argentina, the victory against Qatar was more about getting the job done as opposed to proving doubters wrong as Lionel Scaloni’s side still struggles to provide any kind of fluidity, especially in the midfield. Luis Miguel Echegaray, SI.com, "Copa America Remains Wide Open Entering Quarterfinals," 25 June 2019 And when things do go wrong, creditors’ ability to enforce agreements or seize collateral can be weak. The Economist, "Buy-out firms are the new banks in emerging markets," 21 June 2019 Nanda Devi, shut to the world for 10 years after 1965, when a mysterious operation by America’s Central Investigative Agency went wrong, still has unscaled peaks. Ipsita Chakravarty, Quartz India, "How colonialism cost the Himalayas their remoteness," 10 June 2019 That’s partly because for years, cities have been doing carbon math wrong, adding up only the carbon costs that occur within city limits. Alejandra Borunda, National Geographic, "How can city dwellers help with climate change? Buy less stuff.," 11 June 2019 But everything that can go wrong, that is going wrong, is amplified by altitude. Tim Evans, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis climber weighs in on what's behind 'human traffic jam' photo from Mount Everest," 4 June 2019 Norman suffered from extended exposure to the darkest corners of Reddit, and represents a case study on the dangers of Artificial Intelligence gone wrong when biased data is used in machine learning algorithms. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "MIT Created the World's First 'Psychopath' Robot and People Really Aren't Feeling It," 7 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Lewandowski is now trying to fight back, claiming he's been wronged by the media. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Corey Lewandowski’s predictably idiotic Down-syndrome gaffe," 20 June 2018 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

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

8 Jul 2019

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 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wrong

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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