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.

Nearby words

  1. astral,
  2. astral body,
  3. astrally,
  4. astrangia,
  5. astraphobia,
  6. astrict,
  7. astriction,
  8. astrid,
  9. astride,
  10. astringe

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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for astray

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 for astray

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

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

Idioms and Phrases with astray


see best-laid plans go astray; go astray.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.