misled; mistaken: Their naive actions were a misguided attempt to help the poor.

Origin of misguided

First recorded in 1480–90; misguide + -ed2
Related formsmis·guid·ed·ly, adverbmis·guid·ed·ness, nounun·mis·guid·ed, adjectiveun·mis·guid·ed·ly, adverb



verb (used with object), mis·guid·ed, mis·guid·ing.

to guide wrongly; misdirect.

Origin of misguide

1325–75; mis-1 + guide; replacing Middle English misgien; see guy2
Related formsmis·guid·ance, nounmis·guid·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for misguided

Contemporary Examples of misguided

Historical Examples of misguided

  • "I have not yet learned what right you have to inquire," replied the misguided maiden.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • "Went to bed so bally sober I couldn't sleep," replied the misguided youth.


    William J. Locke

  • And indeed it seemed as if they must have been misguided in some providential manner.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • Misguided by the fever of passion, I forgot my sacred obligations to Leonor.

    Gomez Arias

    Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso

  • Yet associated with a certain degree of judgment.ministering to its misguided will.

British Dictionary definitions for misguided



foolish or unreasonable, esp in action or behaviour
Derived Formsmisguidedly, adverb



(tr) to guide or direct wrongly or badly
Derived Formsmisguidance, nounmisguider, noun
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 misguided

"erring in purpose or action," 1650s, past participle adjective from misguide (v.). Earlier, "ill-behaved" (late 15c.). Related: Misguidedly; misguidedness.



late 14c., "to go astray;" see mis- (1) + guide (v.). Transitive sense of "to guide in the wrong direction" is first attested c.1500. Related: Misguided; misguiding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper