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[rawng, rong] /rɔŋ, rɒŋ/
not in accordance with what is morally right or good:
a wrong deed.
deviating from truth or fact; erroneous:
a wrong answer.
not correct in action, judgment, opinion, method, etc., as a person; in error:
You are wrong to blame him.
not proper or usual; not in accordance with requirements or recommended practice:
the wrong way to hold a golf club.
out of order; awry; amiss:
Something is wrong with the machine.
not suitable or appropriate:
He always says the wrong thing.
(of clothing) that should be worn or kept inward or under:
You're wearing the sweater wrong side out.
that which is wrong, or not in accordance with morality, goodness, or truth; evil:
I committed many wrongs.
an injustice:
The wrongs they suffered aged them.
  1. an invasion of another's right, to his damage.
  2. a tort.
in a wrong manner; not rightly; awry; amiss:
You did it wrong again.
verb (used with object)
to do wrong to; treat unfairly or unjustly; harm.
to impute evil to (someone) unjustly; malign.
get in wrong, Slang. to cause to come into disfavor:
We are forever getting in wrong with the people next door.
go wrong,
  1. to go amiss; fail:
    Everything is going wrong today.
  2. to pursue an immoral course; become depraved:
    Bad friends caused him to go wrong.
in the wrong, to blame; in error:
He knew he was in the wrong but refused to concede the point.
Origin of wrong
before 1100; (adj.) Middle English wrong, wrang, Old English wrang, perhaps < Old Danish wrang; compare Danish vrang wrong, Old Norse rangr awry; (v. and adv.) Middle English, derivative of the adj.; (noun) Middle English; Old English wrang, derivative of the adj.; akin to wring
Related forms
wronger, noun
wrongly, adverb
wrongness, noun
quasi-wrong, adjective
Can be confused
wrong, wrongful.
1. bad, evil, wicked, sinful, immoral, iniquitous, reprehensible, crooked. 2. inaccurate, incorrect, false, untrue, mistaken. 6. improper, unsuitable. 8. misdoing, wickedness, sin, vice. 12. maltreat, abuse, oppress, cheat, defraud, dishonor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for wronging
Historical Examples
  • The inventions for wronging mankind pay a great deal better than those for righting them.

    Springhaven R. D. Blackmore
  • She did not stop to think how much she was wronging Charlie's faithful love.

    The Girls of St. Olave's Mabel Mackintosh
  • Yet before you decide, I would ask you to consider whether you are not wronging yourself, by acting so thoughtlessly.

    Mabel, Vol. I (of 3) Emma Warburton
  • I am wronging him,” thought I. “This man, with all, is incapable of an act of treachery like that.

    The Scalp Hunters Mayne Reid
  • And she so endured the wronging of her bed as never to have any quarrel with her husband thereon.

  • Come, señor, you are wronging me while trifling with your own interests.

    The Lone Ranche Captain Mayne Reid
  • And when I did it, only the cowardly idea that I was wronging myself persisted.

    The Firing Line Robert W. Chambers
  • "You think you would be wronging her," says Baltimore, reading her correctly.

    April's Lady Margaret Wolfe Hungerford
  • I should like to take you, but I want men—strong men like your companion here—and I should be wronging your parents if I took you.

    Marcus: the Young Centurion George Manville Fenn
  • He would be wronging the Ivers if he did not do it, yet how ugly it could be made to look!

    Tristram of Blent Anthony Hope
British Dictionary definitions for wronging


not correct or truthful: the wrong answer
acting or judging in error: you are wrong to think that
(postpositive) immoral; bad: it is wrong to cheat
deviating from or unacceptable to correct or conventional laws, usage, etc
not intended or wanted: the wrong road
(postpositive) not working properly; amiss: something is wrong with the engine
(US) (of a side, esp of a fabric) intended to face the inside so as not to be seen
(informal) get on the wrong side of, (US) get in wrong with, to come into disfavour with
go down the wrong way, (of food) to pass into the windpipe instead of the gullet
in the wrong direction or manner
go wrong
  1. to turn out other than intended
  2. to make a mistake
  3. (of a machine, etc) to cease to function properly
  4. to go astray morally
get wrong
  1. to fail to understand properly
  2. to fail to provide the correct answer to
a bad, immoral, or unjust thing or action
  1. an infringement of another person's rights, rendering the offender liable to a civil action, as for breach of contract or tort: a private wrong
  2. a violation of public rights and duties, affecting the community as a whole and actionable at the instance of the Crown: a public wrong
in the wrong, mistaken or guilty
verb (transitive)
to treat unjustly
to discredit, malign, or misrepresent
to seduce or violate
Derived Forms
wronger, noun
wrongly, adverb
wrongness, noun
Word Origin
Old English wrang injustice, from Old Norse vrang; see wring
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 wronging



late Old English, "twisted, crooked, wry," from Old Norse rangr, earlier *wrangr "crooked, wry, wrong," from Proto-Germanic *wrangaz (cf. Danish vrang "crooked, wrong," Middle Dutch wranc, Dutch wrang "sour, bitter," literally "that which distorts the mouth"), from PIE *wrengh- "to turn" (see wring).

Sense of "not right, bad, immoral, unjust" developed by c.1300. Wrong thus is etymologically a negative of right (from Latin rectus, literally "straight"). Latin pravus was literally "crooked," but most commonly "wrong, bad;" and other words for "crooked" also have meant "wrong" in Italian and Slavic. Cf. also French tort "wrong, injustice," from Latin tortus "twisted." Wrong-headed first recorded 1732. To get up on the wrong side (of the bed) "be in a bad mood" is recorded from 1801.


"that which is improper or unjust," c.1100, from wrong (adj.). Meaning "an unjust action" is recorded from c.1200.


"to do wrong to," early 14c., from wrong (adj.). Related: Wronged; wronging.

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