adverb, adjective

with a turn or twist to one side; askew: to glance or look awry.
away from the expected or proper direction; amiss; wrong: Our plans went awry.

Origin of awry

First recorded in 1325–75, awry is from the Middle English word on wry. See a-1, wry Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for awry

Contemporary Examples of awry

Historical Examples of awry

  • She was constrained to watch, to conceal—to be awry, in fact.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • The stove, with its perspective all awry, was tame and precise, and in colour as dingy as mire.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

  • Knowledge boxes all awry, mouths crooked, and noses that have had the upper-cut.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • The miner did not die, but remained all his life with his neck twisted and awry.

    The Phantom World

    Augustin Calmet

  • Anna Belle's nose was buried in the grass and her hat was awry.


    Clara Louise Burnham

British Dictionary definitions for awry


adverb, adjective (postpositive)

with a slant or twist to one side; askew
away from the appropriate or right course; amiss

Word Origin for awry

C14 on wry; see a- ², wry
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 awry

late 14c., "crooked, askew," from a- (1) "on" + wry (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper