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90s Slang You Should Know


[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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for amiss
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • None knew that anything was amiss, as he stood that day at the bedside of the sufferer whom his skill had saved.

    Marie Tarnowska Annie Vivanti
  • He hurried on to the house to dress in time for dinner, and show all that nothing was amiss.

    The Country House John Galsworthy
  • A young specimen, without rouge or moustache, would not be amiss.

    The Widow Barnaby Frances Trollope
  • You will not take it amiss, that I suggest these subjects to your consideration.

  • Somewhere about midnight thereafter, Bertric woke with a start which roused me, so that I sat up and asked what was amiss.

    A Sea Queen's Sailing Charles Whistler
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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