Definitions

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

  • adjective Not in conformity with fact or truth; incorrect or erroneous.
  • adjective Contrary to conscience, morality, or law.
  • adjective Unfair; unjust.
  • adjective Not required, intended, or wanted.
  • adjective Not fitting or suitable; inappropriate or improper.
  • adjective Not in accord with established usage, method, or procedure.
  • adjective Not functioning properly; amiss.
  • adjective Designating the side, as of a garment, that is less finished and not intended to show.
  • adverb In a wrong manner; mistakenly or erroneously.
  • adverb In a wrong course or direction.
  • adverb Immorally or unjustly.
  • noun An unjust, injurious, or immoral act.
  • noun That which is unjust, immoral, or improper.
  • noun The condition of being in error or at fault.
  • noun An invasion or a violation of another's legal rights.
  • noun Law A tort.
  • transitive verb To treat (someone) unjustly or injuriously.
  • transitive verb To discredit unjustly; malign.
  • idiom (do (someone) wrong) To be unfaithful or disloyal.
  • idiom (go wrong) To go amiss; turn out badly.
  • idiom (go wrong) To make a mistake or mistakes.
  • idiom (go wrong) To behave immorally after a period of innocence or moral behavior.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In a wrong manner; not rightly; erroneously; incorrectly; amiss; ill.
  • To do wrong to; treat unfairly, unjustly, or harmfully; do or say something injurious or offensive to; injure; harm; oppress; offend.
  • To be the cause of wrong or harm to; affect injuriously; be hurtful to; in an old nautical use, to take the wind from the sails of, as a ship in line with another to windward.
  • To be in the wrong in regard to; view or consider wrongly; give an erroneous seeming to; put in the wrong, or in a false light.
  • Crooked; twisted; wry.
  • Not right in state, adjustment, or the like; not in order; disordered; perverse; being awry or amiss.
  • Deviating from right or truth; not correct or justifiable in fact or morals; erroneous; perverse: as, wrong ideas; wrong courses.
  • Deviating from that which is correct, proper, or suitable; not according to intention, requirement, purpose, or desire: as, the wrong side of a piece of cloth (the side to be turned inward).
  • In a state of misconception or error; not correct in action, belief, assertion, or the like; mistaken; in error.
  • Wrong is in all senses the opposite and correlative of right.
  • Synonyms Unfit, unsuitable, inappropriate, inapposite.
  • Immoral, inequitable, unfair.
  • Incorrect, faulty.
  • noun That which is wrong, amiss, or erroneous; the opposite of right, or of propriety, truth, justice, or goodness; wrongfulness; error; evil.
  • noun Wrong action or conduct; anything done contrary to right or justice; a violation of law, obligation, or propriety; in law, an invasion of right, to the damage of another person; a tort: as, to do or commit wrong, or a wrong.
  • noun Harm or evil inflicted; damage or detriment suffered; an injury, mischief, hurt, or pain imparted or received: as, to do one a wrong.
  • noun A state of being wrrong or of acting wrongly; an erroneous or unjust view, attitude, or procedure in regard to anything: chiefly in the phrase in the wrong.
  • noun To suffer the infliction of wrong; have wrong treatment.
  • noun Synonyms and Sin, Iniquity, etc. See crime.

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

  • transitive verb To treat with injustice; to deprive of some right, or to withhold some act of justice from; to do undeserved harm to; to deal unjustly with; to injure.
  • transitive verb To impute evil to unjustly.
  • noun Nonconformity or disobedience to lawful authority, divine or human; deviation from duty; -- the opposite of moral right.
  • noun Deviation or departure from truth or fact; state of falsity; error.
  • noun Whatever deviates from moral rectitude; usually, an act that involves evil consequences, as one which inflicts injury on a person; any injury done to, or received from; another; a trespass; a violation of right.
  • adjective obsolete Twisted; wry.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, of Scandinavian origin; see wer- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English wrong, from Old English wrang ("wrong, twisted, uneven"), from Old Norse rangr, *wrangr ("crooked, wrong"), from Proto-Germanic *wrangaz (“crooked, twisted, turned awry”), from Proto-Indo-European *werḱ-, *werǵ-, *wrengʰ- (“to twist, weave, tie together”), from Proto-Indo-European *wer- (“to turn, bend”). Cognate with Scots wrang ("wrong"), Danish vrang ("wrong, crooked"), Swedish vrång ("perverse, distorted"), Icelandic rangur ("wrong"), Dutch wrang ("bitter, sour") and the name of the mythic Old Frisian city of Rungholt ("crooked wood"). More at wring.

Examples

  • American Nightmare: Gonzales 'wrong and illegal and unethical' yahooBuzzArticleHeadline = 'American Nightmare: Gonzales \'wrong and illegal and unethical\' '; yahooBuzzArticleSummary =' Article: "What I\'ve experienced in the last six months is the ugly side of the American dream."

    American Nightmare: Gonzales 'wrong and illegal and unethical'

  • Government in doing good, provided we can do so without at the same time aiding it in the wrong it perpetrates, this must mean, of course, that it is right to aid and obey a Government _in doing wrong_, if we think that, on the whole, the Government effects more good than harm.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus

  • Bible should to them, and to every Christian, be the _only_ standard of what is right and wrong; and so, in the same manner, when they said that it was _wrong_, he required them also to prove it from Scripture.

    A Practical Enquiry into the Philosophy of Education

  • Government in doing good, provided we can do so without at the same time aiding it in the wrong it perpetrates, this must mean, of course, that it is right to aid and obey a Government _in doing wrong_, if we think that, on the whole, the Government effects more good than harm.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 4 of 4

  • It is wrong, _dead wrong_, to start, or carry along, on the opposite track, and try to persuade men to do the right thing, by dwelling on the awful consequence of doing the wrong thing.

    The Armed Forces Officer Department of the Army Pamphlet 600-2

  • And after all, even supposing that Pascal is wrong; even supposing that making his grand wager he put his money upon the _wrong horse_, does that diminish the tragedy of his position?

    Suspended Judgments Essays on Books and Sensations

  • You can't arbitrarily say at the top of the page, "Mark the thing that is wrong," and then have a picture of a house with one window larger than all the others and expect any one to agree with you that it is necessarily _wrong_.

    Love Conquers All

  • I think, and shall try to show, that it is wrong, —wrong in its direct effect, letting slavery into Kansas and Nebraska, and wrong in its prospective principle, allowing it to spread to every other part of the wide world, where men can be found inclined to take it.

    First Joint Debate at Ottawa. Mr. Lincoln's Reply

  • She had in law no individual existence, and consequently no action could be brought by her to redress the grievous wrong; indeed, _according to the law she had suffered no wrong_, but the husband had suffered all, and was entitled to all the redress.

    History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II

  • There are some things that looked wrong; _they look wrong still_, and will _always look wrong_ if your present attitude is maintained.

    The Hand but Not the Heart

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • Why the 'w'?

    November 8, 2007

  • because rong would be wrong.

    November 8, 2007

  • But why is right, right and not "wright"?

    November 9, 2007

  • It is for Orville and Wilbur. And, er, Robin.

    November 9, 2007

  • Or Batman, for that matter...

    November 9, 2007

  • What does Batman have to do with being wright?

    November 9, 2007

  • Not much. But I hear that Batman writes rongs.

    November 9, 2007

  • *groan*

    November 9, 2007

  • Uselessness: Robin and Batman, to reverse their usual order.

    November 9, 2007

  • Oh, sure. But I was talking about Robin Wright. Er, Robin Wright Penn, a.k.a. Buttercup. See my links below. ;-)

    November 9, 2007