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[uh-strey] /əˈstreɪ/
adverb, adjective
out of the right way; off the correct or known road, path, or route:
Despite specific instructions, they went astray and got lost.
away from that which is right; into error, confusion, or undesirable action or thought:
They were led astray by their lust for money.
Origin of astray
1250-1300; Middle English astraye < Anglo-French *astraié, Old French estraié, past participle of estraier; see stray Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for astray
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • That was the real madness; pride and enthusiasm led us astray.

  • Yes, she must have led Lantier astray; you could see it in her eyes.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • My foot was on the threshold of His house when you led me astray.

    Keziah Coffin Joseph C. Lincoln
  • They are very idle, gay and effeminate, and I fear that they will lead you astray.

    The Indian Fairy Book Cornelius Mathews
  • In the first place, the allurements which led me astray may have had no charms for you.

    The Mind and Its Education

    George Herbert Betts
British Dictionary definitions for astray


adjective, adverb (postpositive)
out of the correct path or direction
out of the right, good, or expected way; into error
Word Origin
C13: from Old French estraie roaming, from estraier to stray
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 astray

c.1300, astraied "away from home; lost," borrowed and partially nativized from Old French estraie, past participle of estraier "astray, riderless (of a horse), lost," literally "on stray" (see stray (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with astray
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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