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[uh-mis] /əˈmɪs/
out of the right or proper course, order, or condition; improperly; wrongly; astray:
Did I speak amiss?
adjective, (usually used predicatively)
improper; wrong; faulty:
I think something is amiss in your calculations.
take amiss, to be offended at or resentful of (something not meant to cause offense or resentment); misunderstand:
I couldn't think of a way to present my view so that no one would take it amiss.
Origin of amiss
1200-50; Middle English amis, equivalent to a- a-1 + mis wrong. See miss1
1. inappropriately, unsuitably. 2. mistaken, erroneous; awry, askew.
1. rightly, properly. 2. correct, true. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for amiss
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "I had not thought that you had taken it so amiss," said he awkwardly.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Mrs. Menotti tried to detain him; she could not understand what was amiss.

    Rico and Wiseli Johanna Spyri
  • It may not be amiss to remark that I have never eaten a blackberry since.

    A Woman Tenderfoot Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson
  • I thought it was not amiss to ask this liberty; the weather seemed to be set in fine.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • "If they were walking over you, it mightn't be amiss," reprimanded Judith.

    The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood
British Dictionary definitions for amiss


in an incorrect, inappropriate, or defective manner
take something amiss, to be annoyed or offended by something
(postpositive) wrong, incorrect, or faulty
Word Origin
C13 a mis, from mis wrong; see miss1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for amiss

mid-13c., amis "off the mark," also "out of order," literally "on the miss," from a "in, on" (see a- (1)) + missen "fail to hit" (see miss (v.)). To take (something) amiss originally (late 14c.) was "to miss the meaning of" (see mistake). Now it means "to misinterpret in a bad sense."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with amiss


see under take the wrong way
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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