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

His ability has been questioned at every level, but Shaquem continued to prove the doubters wrong. CBS News, "Shaquem Griffin expects to cry "immediately" if selected in NFL draft," 26 Apr. 2018 Cultural fascination with people who do wrong has never been higher. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Why Is Scammer Style So Bad?," 22 Mar. 2019 Which was, as any good engineer or designer knows, an open invitation for someone to prove them wrong. Steven Levy, WIRED, "Cracking the Crypto War," 25 Apr. 2018 Musk soon promised to prove Unsworth wrong—and lobbed a baseless charge of pedophilia at the rescuer. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Elon Musk could face lawsuit for calling cave rescuer a “pedo guy”," 16 July 2018 Those doubting his grand visions have been proved wrong in the past. The Economist, "The impact of Masayoshi Son’s $100bn tech fund will be profound," 10 May 2018 His blue-collar family doubted his obsession with broadcasting would go anywhere, which only inspired Pagliarulo to prove them wrong. John Tedesco, San Antonio Express-News, "‘Joe Pags Show’ in the national spotlight after Ted Nugent interview," 6 Apr. 2018 What's more, the conspiracy theory suggests, the entire crash was an insurance scam gone wrong. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Wild Conspiracy That the Titanic Never Sank," 27 Feb. 2019 Four years have passed since Brazil’s most famous case of a lynching gone wrong, the killing of a housewife in Guarujá, a popular beach resort. Samantha Pearson, WSJ, "In Latin America, Awash in Crime, Citizens Impose Their Own Brutal Justice," 6 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Don’t get me wrong: There’s still plenty of information to be dug up. David Roberts, Vox, "My advice for aspiring explainer journalists," 9 Dec. 2018 Shawn isn't totally wrong; stress and other emotional factors can affect how your skin looks. Leah Prinzivalli, Teen Vogue, "Shawn Mendes Says He Doesn’t Wash His Face, and Fans Are Freaking Out," 20 Apr. 2019 In Westeros, there is no such thing as completely black or white, right or wrong. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Daenerys Targaryen Should Not Be Queen of Westeros," 19 Apr. 2019 So all of those variations of the spectrum —they're all wrong. Katie Halper, Teen Vogue, "Lucy Flores: Biden's Unwanted Touching Should be Part of #MeToo Conversations," 6 Apr. 2019 Though only a few dozen to a few hundred miles in diameter now, the object was likely an Earth-like planet gone drastically wrong. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Think They've Found a Dead Planetary Core Orbiting a Dead Star," 4 Apr. 2019 Though that teacher was very wrong in predicting how Chan’s career might unfold, becoming a trailblazer of Hollywood’s inclusion movement comes with its own challenges, particularly when entering a multi-billion dollar franchise. Yolanda Machado, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gemma Chan Knows Hollywood Has a Long Way to Go with Inclusion," 2 Apr. 2019 Not about collusion, Russian interference or obstruction of justice, but about the leading lights of journalism who managed to get the story so wrong, and for so long. Sean Davis, WSJ, "A Catastrophic Media Failure," 25 Mar. 2019 Further Reading An AI invented a bunch of new paint colors that are hilariously wrongShane's Thursday update stood out both for its timeliness and its particularly dark sense of humor. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "AI invents New Year fireworks names that sound more like the end of humanity," 27 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Things immediately start going wrong when the Nightflyer experiences a series of mysterious mechanical problems that Eris cryptically promises to get under control. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "George R.R. Martin’s Nightflyers asks whether humanity deserves to be saved," 29 Nov. 2018 Over the years, people have pronounced her name wrong. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "How to Pronounce "Kamala Harris," Once and for All," 2 Apr. 2019 Often, several things are going wrong at the same time, which is why advanced cancer so frequently has deadly consequences. Korin Miller, SELF, "How Does Cancer Actually Kill Someone?," 15 Mar. 2019 The Truth About Sansa's Season Seven Hair Getty Images While filming season seven, Turner was recovering from a dye job gone wrong, and could not color her hair for a while. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Sophie Turner Shares Her Date Night Beauty Routine and Top Hair Coloring Tips," 14 Feb. 2019 Previous research suggests that between 70% and 80% of surgical mishaps are the result of interactions between those present going wrong in some way, as opposed to being technical failures of one sort or another. The Economist, "Mixed surgical teams lead to less medical error," 2 July 2018 Ideology can’t explain the election results Now, the fact that centrists are getting things wrong shouldn’t be taken as a sign that progressive candidates did great. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The strange argument that Democrats actually lost the midterms, debunked," 9 Nov. 2018 So close, in fact, that the ITV broadcast thought the referee got the decision wrong in disallowing Bolt’s second-half goal. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Usain Bolt got robbed of a goal during his 'professional' soccer debut," 10 June 2018 Getting that narrative wrong, however, is leading Washington toward policies to reduce the trade deficit that will be somewhere between irrelevant and counterproductive. Jason Furman, WSJ, "Worry About the Trade Deficit—a Bit," 1 May 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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Dictionary Entries near wrong

WRO

wrocht

Wrocław

wrong

wrong'un

wrongdoer

wrongdoing

Statistics for wrong

Last Updated

29 Apr 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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