Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Out of proper order.
  • adjective Not in perfect shape; faulty.
  • adverb In an improper, defective, unfortunate, or mistaken way.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Away from the mark; out of the way; out of the proper course or order; in a faulty manner; wrongly; in a manner contrary to propriety, truth, law, or morality.
  • Improper; wrong; faulty: used only in the predicate: as, it may not be amiss to ask advice.
  • noun Fault; wrong: as, “some great amiss,”

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Wrong; faulty; out of order; improper.
  • noun obsolete A fault, wrong, or mistake.
  • adverb Astray; faultily; improperly; wrongly; ill.
  • adverb to impute a wrong motive to (an act or thing); to take offense at; to take unkindly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Wrong; faulty; out of order; improper; as, it may not be amiss to ask advice.
  • adverb archaic Mistakenly
  • adverb archaic Astray
  • adverb archaic Wrongly.
  • noun obsolete Fault; wrong; an evil act, a bad deed.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective not functioning properly
  • adverb in an improper or mistaken or unfortunate manner
  • adverb in an imperfect or faulty way
  • adverb away from the correct or expected course

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English amis, probably from Old Norse ā mis, so as to miss : ā, on; see an- in Indo-European roots + mis, act of missing; see mei- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From a +‎ miss.

Examples

Comments

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  • Her sonne new dead, some briny drops to shed?

    When she a while hath spoke her griefe in teares,

    With patience then, of patience she heares.

    Out of due season who so Physicke gi's,

    Though it cause health, yet hath he done amisse.

    And friendly counsell vrged out of date

    Doth fret the sore and cause the hearers hate.

    - Sir Thomas Overbury, 'The Remedy of Loue'.

    July 28, 2009

  • "You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you might consume it upon thy lusts.�?

    -Bible

    July 28, 2009