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 ofwronged 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 After all, Trump's fundamental economic observation about trade is flat-out wrong. James Pethokoukis, TheWeek, "Trump just ran a two-year trade war experiment. It failed.," 17 Jan. 2020 Deciphering an opponent’s signs has been a lot easier than deciphering right from wrong in Major League Baseball. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Punishment for Astros shows MLB’s sign-stealing days are over — and the Red Sox are next," 13 Jan. 2020 Shaping that into a theory of health care policy is as complicated as the work of distinguishing right from wrong itself. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "‘The Good Place’ and What We Owe to Each Other in Health Care: Brainstorm Health," 27 Sep. 2019 But Mila Jam is singing about much more than a relationship gone wrong. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "25 Songs From LGBTQ Artists You May Have Missed In 2019," 19 Dec. 2019 But what if a payout isn’t the point, and the best remedy is for the company to right the wrong? Marc Bain, Quartz at Work, "What can we do when supposedly ethical companies break their promises?," 16 Dec. 2019 Queen & Slim stars Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith as a couple on their first date who are forced to go on the run after a traffic stop gone wrong. Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, "Box Office: 'Frozen 2' Tops Black Friday With $34M; 'Knives Out' Strong No. 2," 30 Nov. 2019 When children die from abuse or neglect after recently being called to child welfare workers’ attention, their deaths trigger an intensive review process and public reports to find out what may have gone wrong. oregonlive, "Foster care supervisor who drew criticism, lawsuits continues long career at DHS after internal investigation," 30 Nov. 2019 One dramatic example of the influencer geotagging effect gone wrong was seen in March in Lake Elsinore, California, where a few Instagrammers with massive followings posed among the town’s poppy super bloom. Tyler Moss, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Geotagging Debate Is Really About Gatekeeping in the Outdoors," 18 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective His at times abrasive, overconfident persona has rubbed people the wrong way in more recent times too. Nihal Krishan, Washington Examiner, "Ted Cruz acknowledges 'pretty cocky kid' past: 'Needed to get my teeth kicked in'," 19 Jan. 2020 The budget also includes $1 million to add 76 new thermal-imaging cameras to detect wrong-way drivers on the roads. Maria Polletta, azcentral, "Gov. Doug Ducey unveils $12.3B state spending plan with boost for police, schools," 17 Jan. 2020 The wrong-way driver — identified as a San Jose woman — was pronounced dead at the scene. Alejandro Serrano, SFChronicle.com, "Wrong-way driver killed in Hwy. 17 crash in Campbell," 17 Jan. 2020 Here’s one thing that rubs me the wrong way, though: the coach picked up a nice $500,000 bonus for winning the national championship with a 42-25 victory over the Clemson Tigers on Monday night. Andy Nesbitt, For The Win, "Ed Orgeron got an extra $500K for winning the national title, which is kinda ridiculous," 14 Jan. 2020 British prosecutors have issued an extradition request to the United States for the wife of an American diplomat accused of killing a teenager in a wrong-way collision last year. Fox News, "UK issues extradition request for American woman charged in death of British teen," 12 Jan. 2020 For some reason, our food choices rub people the wrong way. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, "Dear Abby: Healthy eaters tired of disdain about their food choices," 9 Jan. 2020 Her words rubbed some white students at Georgia Southern the wrong way. Moriah Balingit, Washington Post, "‘A tale of two schools’: At Georgia Southern, a book-burning ignites questions anew about race," 31 Dec. 2019 Perez-Martinez was charged with trafficking heroin, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, wrong-way operation, and operating after suspension, State Police said. Jordan Frias, BostonGlobe.com, "State Police pull over wrong-way driver in North Adams, arrest him on drug charges," 29 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Virtually anything that could go wrong did for the Bucks early in that third quarter. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks 128, Celtics 123: Too close for comfort after most of a 27-point leads slipped away," 16 Jan. 2020 So what is going wrong, and where does India go from here? Sangeeta Khorana, Quartz India, "How the world’s fastest growing major economy went off the rails," 13 Jan. 2020 The delivery companies were on the hook for anything that went wrong, from workers complaining they were mistreated or underpaid to pedestrians and drivers hurt in crashes. James Bandler, ProPublica, "Inside Documents Show How Amazon Chose Speed Over Safety in Building Its Delivery Network," 28 Dec. 2019 And this isn't to suggest ESPN did anything wrong ... 22. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "NFL power rankings: Seahawks return to top five after reclaiming No. 1 seed in Week 15," 17 Dec. 2019 Olivo-Faberlle’s girlfriend shouted his name while telling him to run and told an officer that Olivo-Faberlle didn’t do anything wrong, police said. Jacob Beltran, ExpressNews.com, "Man who escaped State Hospital to be re-evaluated after leading police on chase," 29 Nov. 2019 The State Police say Lima did nothing wrong, despite the jury verdict, which the agency did not appeal. BostonGlobe.com, "At the time of Riley’s background investigation in 2011, Lima was not a full-time member of the Certification Unit, which conducts background investigations of State Police recruits; his regular assignment was to the State Police Detective Unit for Bristol County.," 22 Oct. 2019 New Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis, who left Alabama, can do no wrong early. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Pioneer Press Big Ten football picks: Week 1," 28 Aug. 2019 Let those who have done wrong testify against the higher-ups, say who enabled what, and who knew what when. Lidija Haas, The New Republic, "Notes on Cancel Culture," 1 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The fact that Democrats have more ground for complaint is at once provable and practicably immaterial, given how equally wronged both sides feel. The Economist, "Fahrenheit Wisconsin," 18 Dec. 2019 The Sun was once a planet A lot of people seem to feel that scientists wronged Pluto by changing its classification. Christopher Palma, The Conversation, "Planetary confusion – why astronomers keep changing what it means to be a planet," 16 Dec. 2019 ExxonMobil’s communications on climate change had neither the intent nor the effect of wronging the company’s investors. Walter Olson, National Review, "The Hashtag Prosecution against Exxon," 16 Dec. 2019 Most of the attackers in the study had a grievance, described as a real or perceived sense of injustice or of being wronged. Mark Berman, Washington Post, "FBI says ‘lone offender terrorism’ in U.S. follows histories of violence, concerning behaviors," 13 Nov. 2019 As this brings home, when one adult grievously wrongs another, the consequences are unpredictable. B.c., The Economist, "Two new films explore the limits of Christian forgiveness," 13 Nov. 2019 The same show that scattered logic to the wind and wronged its female characters in a hurried final season, which delivered an anticlimactic head-scratcher of an ending (Bran???) that didn’t satisfy anyone? Los Angeles Times, "Emmy predictions: Who will, should and could win at Sunday night’s awards," 19 Sep. 2019 Soprano Eleni Calenos was an inspired choice, with her rich tone and exquisite control, shifting easily from timid introvert to passionate (and deeply wronged) lover. cleveland.com, "Cleveland Opera Theater kicks off season with ingenious, talent-rich ‘La Boheme’," 16 Sep. 2019 There were people around, Taylor thought, people to hear about how she’d been wronged. Jason Pohl, ProPublica, "A Jail Increased Extreme Isolation to Stop Suicides. More People Killed Themselves.," 5 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for wrong

Time Traveler

The first known use of wrong was before the 12th century

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Statistics for wrong

Last Updated

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wrong.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wrongs. Accessed 29 January 2020.

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More Definitions for wrong

wrong

noun
How to pronounce wrong (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wrong

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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