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

There exists a field, beyond all notions of right and wrong. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, "Brad Pitt Debuts New Tattoo of Man and His Shadow Near His Matching Ink with Angelina Jolie," 30 Aug. 2019 What does this paradox tell us about ideas of right and wrong? Alice Rudge, Quartz, "Why we laugh when we know we shouldn’t," 28 Aug. 2019 White’s chosen few had only a moral sense of right and wrong in support of their anti-Communism. David Pryce-jones, National Review, "The Cold War of Words," 22 Aug. 2019 According to our forthcoming paper, words that appeal to one’s sense of right and wrong are particularly effective at capturing attention, which may help explain this new political reality. Jay Van Bavel, Scientific American, "Why Moral Emotions Go Viral Online," 20 Aug. 2019 With Trump, it's been more impactful because there's that basic issue of right and wrong. Evan Real, The Hollywood Reporter, "Randy Rainbow on His Politically Charged Musicals and His Advice for Democratic Candidates," 15 Aug. 2019 In fact, the rubberized housing around the cable is thicker than that of Apple's own cables, and if something does go wrong, Anker says the product is covered by a lifetime warranty. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "Dealmaster: Get an MFi-certified Anker USB-C to Lightning cable for $12," 13 Aug. 2019 Just as resonantly, Baretto feels that the film deconstructs fraught topics like consent and culpability, while also recognizing that, even in instances of clear right and wrong, there is no black and white. Elizabeth Kiefer, Glamour, "HBO’s Share Addresses Sexual Assault Unlike Any Movie You’ve Ever Seen," 26 July 2019 If the World Cup turns on a heel lifted off a line of paint, there will be the sense of something small having gone right, and something bigger having gone wrong. Robert O'connell, The Atlantic, "The World Cup’s Instant-Replay Problem," 5 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

This season is already trending in the wrong direction under Willie Taggart, with an opening loss to Boise State at home and an overtime victory over Louisiana Monroe last week. C.j. Doon, baltimoresun.com, "Can Maryland and Penn State preserve their ranked matchup? Most intriguing college football questions for Week 3," 13 Sep. 2019 Less common reasons were disagreeing with the candidate's ideas (15%) and concern that the candidate would take the party in the wrong direction (12%). Grace Segers, CBS News, "Democrats clash on health care and immigration in third debate," 13 Sep. 2019 The candidates debated with polls showing a strong majority of voters believe the country is headed in the wrong direction under the first-term Republican president's leadership. Bill Barrow And Steve Peoples, chicagotribune.com, "The Democratic debate featured some fiery exchanges and put the divide between liberal and moderate candidates on display," 12 Sep. 2019 Even a slight lean in the wrong direction can strand Mitchell’s opponent before his move is ever made. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "Top 100 NBA Players of 2020," 12 Sep. 2019 While millennials are known to prefer access over ownership, that mindset cannot be solely blamed for everything that’s wrong with the sector or the economy as a whole. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "No, finance minister. Indian millennials are not to blame for the automobile slowdown," 11 Sep. 2019 But then again, there has to be room for looking back at good theater, and on that score, Shanley’s rock-solid achievement would never be considered a step in the wrong direction. Peter Marks, Washington Post, "‘Doubt’ covered child abuse in the church a decade and a half ago. It’s still relevant.," 10 Sep. 2019 The cause of the crash remains under investigation, and Washington State Patrol did not say why the driver was going the wrong way. Seattle Times Staff Reporter, The Seattle Times, "Driver killed going wrong way on I-5 in Lynnwood, struck concrete barrier," 8 Sep. 2019 Plenty went wrong for UCLA in the team’s opener against the Bearcats. Skip Snow, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "San Diego State Aztecs at UCLA Bruins odds, picks and best bets," 7 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

In 2016, a federal judge in Rochester concluded that the rule in New York was unconstitutional and that New York judges had been wrong to allow such searches. Joseph Goldstein, New York Times, "Officers Said They Smelled Pot. The Judge Called Them Liars.," 12 Sep. 2019 However, a senior administration official who asked not to be identified when discussing internal deliberations said that the Birmingham office had been wrong and that NOAA had simply done the responsible thing and corrected the record. BostonGlobe.com, "WASHINGTON — The secretary of commerce threatened to fire top employees at NOAA on Friday after the agency’s Birmingham, Alabama, office contradicted President Trump’s claim that Hurricane Dorian might hit Alabama, according to three people familiar with the discussion.," 10 Sep. 2019 Just make sure not to spend this anticipatory time ruminating on the many ways things can wrong, cautions Dr. DeMaria. Madeleine Burry, Good Housekeeping, "7 Self-Help Strategies For When You're Overwhelmed, According to Psychologists," 29 Aug. 2019 Question: What have critics gotten wrong about Kiss? Chris Varias, Cincinnati.com, "Paul Stanley of Kiss: 'We have a certain expiration date'," 22 Aug. 2019 Anni Manukyan thought something might have been wrong with their embryos at the clinic and kept asking why a DNA test was necessary. Andy Nguyen, latimes.com, "Glendale couple sues fertility clinic after woman gives birth to their son in embryo snafu," 11 July 2019 Whoever said Marie Kondo was just an expert organizer was proven wrong today—the star known for her tidying up skills has just been nominated for an Emmy, and not just for her ability to spark joy. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Marie Kondo is Now Officially an Emmy Nominee," 16 July 2019 But while Ehrlich’s predictions were proved wrong, his beliefs were shared by officials at major institutions like the World Bank and foundations like Ford and Rockefeller (which makes Future Perfect possible). Dylan Matthews, Vox, "“The time of vasectomy”: how American foundations fueled a terrible atrocity in India," 5 June 2019 Musk told employees in late September that the company was close to proving naysayers wrong. Tom Krisher, The Seattle Times, "Wall Street skeptical of Tesla’s promise to post net profit," 23 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Likewise, James Winkler is well-suited to play Victor, Amanda’s new husband, who like Sybil is clearly wronged in this situation. Pomerado News, "REVIEW: PowPAC’s ‘Private Lives’ is full of comedy and action," 21 Aug. 2019 Simone may truly want to hurt her husband (by downgrading his living conditions), but the show suggests she’s worth rooting for not just because she’s been wronged, but also because her vulnerability gives her dimension. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "The Cheap Thrills of The Kitchen and Why Women Kill," 19 Aug. 2019 Attorneys for the Alaska plaintiffs say the resolution of the Dartmouth case gives credence to their clients and any others who have been wronged. Author: Rachel D'oro, Anchorage Daily News, "Former UAA professor accused of sexual misconduct objects to pseudonyms in lawsuit," 13 Aug. 2019 While the first and second seasons showed in minute detail all the people who wronged Hannah before her death, Bryce is the person who raped her and then gaslit her as if the assault was consensual (and continued to do so even after her death). Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "13 Reasons Why killing off Bryce Walker is actually the best move for the controversial show," 1 Aug. 2019 Rapinoe and all public figures should take their fight to those who wronged them, not to those who gave them that right. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Politics intrudes in sports; Epstein, Trump and Clinton; July 4 coverage was objective; Make colleges pay for bad debt (7/9/19)," 9 July 2019 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

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

2 Sep 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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