Definitions

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

  • adverb Away from the correct course; amiss.
  • adverb In a position that is turned or twisted toward one side; askew.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Turned or twisted toward one side; not in a straight or true direction or position; asquint: as, to glance or look awry; the lady's cap is awry.
  • Figuratively, away from the line of truth or right reason; perverse or perversely.
  • Of things: To turn out badly or untowardly; go wrong.

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

  • adverb Turned or twisted toward one side; not in a straight or true direction, or position; out of the right course; distorted; obliquely; asquint; with oblique vision.
  • adverb Aside from the line of truth, or right reason; unreasonable or unreasonably; perverse or perversely.

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

  • adverb Obliquely, crookedly; askew.
  • adverb Perversely, improperly.
  • adjective Turned or twisted toward one side; crooked, distorted, out of place.
  • adjective Wrong or distorted; perverse, amiss.

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

  • adjective turned or twisted toward one side
  • adjective not functioning properly
  • adverb away from the correct or expected course
  • adverb turned or twisted to one side

Etymologies

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

[Middle English : a-, on; see a– + wrien, to turn, be crooked; see wry.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From a (preposition) + wry.

Examples

  • She fought tears after finishing her balance beam routine that went awry from the start.

    U.S. gymnasts can't overcome miscues, take silver

  • John Grisham’s first work of nonfiction, an exploration of small town justice gone terribly awry, is his most extraordinary legal thriller yet.

    The best recent books: True Crime

  • Where things go a little awry is when it comes to telling the truth.

    Lying to be honest

  • EnlargeAP file photoJeff George stands as a cautionary tale for quarterbacks gone awry from the top overall draft spot.

    QB quandary: No. 1 pick doesn't guarantee success

  • Where things go a little awry is when it comes to telling the truth.

    December 2007

  • Besides, if there was a pin awry in her dress, he did make such a fuss – and, really, such an active, busy young lady couldn't look always as if she came trim out of a band-box.

    John Halifax, Gentleman

  • Tractor's one-off about the word awry touched me in that pace.

    Wired Campus

  • In this book, for example, the kids find their Hallowe’en going a bit awry from the start, but the taunting of the class mean girls really kicks the strange happenings into high gear.

    13 Picks From The Pumpkin Patch

  • In this book, for example, the kids find their Hallowe’en going a bit awry from the start, but the taunting of the class mean girls really kicks the strange happenings into high gear.

    Archive 2006-10-01

  • Now too much has gone awry, that is out of alignment with our emotional compass.

    Michael Brenner: Celebrities as Heroes

Comments

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  • Awry and askew - the story of my life.

    June 11, 2007

  • Had a boyfriend once who pronounced this AWE-ree instead of uh-RYE. Kind of cute really.

    April 1, 2008

  • "Widespread opposition to and unhappiness with the war (and its expense) has long fueled a broader feeling that the U.S. is "on the wrong track" and needs change of some kind. About 80% of voters were voicing that feeling even before the recent financial collapse began. Much of it came from frustration over a major Vietnam-like military effort that, somehow, once again went terribly awry. Once again, we tried to save a nation by destroying it."

    - Ira Chernus, 'How Forgotten Iraq May Elect the Next President', 30 Sep 2008.

    October 1, 2008

  • - Gary Kamiya, 'Remember Iraq', 30 Sep 2008.

    October 1, 2008