View synonyms for wrong


[ rawng, rong ]


  1. not in accordance with what is morally right or good:

    a wrong deed.

    Synonyms: crooked, reprehensible, iniquitous, immoral, sinful, wicked, evil, bad

  2. deviating from truth or fact; erroneous:

    a wrong answer.

    Synonyms: mistaken, untrue, false, incorrect, inaccurate

  3. not correct in action, judgment, opinion, method, etc., as a person; in error:

    You are wrong to blame him.

  4. not proper or usual; not in accordance with requirements or recommended practice:

    the wrong way to hold a golf club.

  5. out of order; awry; amiss:

    Something is wrong with the machine.

  6. not suitable or appropriate:

    He always says the wrong thing.

    Synonyms: unsuitable, improper

  7. (of clothing) that should be worn or kept inward or under:

    You're wearing the sweater wrong side out.


  1. that which is wrong, or not in accordance with morality, goodness, or truth; evil:

    I committed many wrongs.

    Synonyms: vice, wickedness, immorality, misdeed, sin

  2. an injustice:

    The wrongs they suffered aged them.

  3. Law.
    1. an invasion of another's right, to his damage.
    2. a tort.


  1. in a wrong manner; not rightly; awry; amiss:

    You did it wrong again.

verb (used with object)

  1. to do wrong to; treat unfairly or unjustly; harm.

    Synonyms: dishonor, defraud, cheat, oppress, abuse, maltreat

  2. to impute evil to (someone) unjustly; malign.


/ rɒŋ /


  1. not correct or truthful

    the wrong answer

  2. acting or judging in error

    you are wrong to think that

  3. postpositive immoral; bad

    it is wrong to cheat

  4. deviating from or unacceptable to correct or conventional laws, usage, etc
  5. not intended or wanted

    the wrong road

  6. postpositive not working properly; amiss

    something is wrong with the engine

  7. (of a side, esp of a fabric) intended to face the inside so as not to be seen
  8. get on the wrong side of or get in wrong with informal.
    to come into disfavour with
  9. go down the wrong way
    (of food) to pass into the windpipe instead of the gullet


  1. in the wrong direction or manner
  2. 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
  3. get wrong
    1. to fail to understand properly
    2. to fail to provide the correct answer to


  1. a bad, immoral, or unjust thing or action
  2. law
    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

  3. in the wrong
    mistaken or guilty


  1. to treat unjustly
  2. to discredit, malign, or misrepresent
  3. to seduce or violate

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Derived Forms

  • ˈwrongness, noun
  • ˈwronger, noun
  • ˈwrongly, adverb

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Other Words From

  • wronger noun
  • wrongly adverb
  • wrongness noun
  • quasi-wrong adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of wrong1

First recorded before 1100; (adjective) Middle English wrong, wrang, Old English wrang, perhaps from Old Danish wrang; compare Danish vrang “wrong,” Old Norse rangr “awry”; (verb and adverb) Middle English, derivative of the adjective; (noun) Middle English; Old English wrang, derivative of adjective; akin to wring

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Word History and Origins

Origin of wrong1

Old English wrang injustice, from Old Norse vrang; see wring

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. get in wrong, Slang. to cause to come into disfavor:

    We are forever getting in wrong with the people next door.

  2. 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.

  3. in the wrong, to blame; in error:

    He knew he was in the wrong but refused to concede the point.

More idioms and phrases containing wrong

see back the wrong horse ; bark up the wrong tree ; do someone wrong ; get someone wrong ; get up on the wrong side of bed ; go wrong ; in the wrong ; on the right (wrong) foot ; on the right (wrong) tack ; right (wrong) side of the tracks ; rub the wrong way ; take the wrong way ; two wrongs do not make a right .

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Example Sentences

Wharton School professor Adam Grant has spent a lot of time studying what’s wrong with job interviews.

From Quartz

It was generated by researchers to illustrate what can go wrong when you try to classify people as responders or non-responders based on a single set of measurements.

Rather, the history of science is full of mistakes and wrong turns.

Hemmerling emailed the person back saying she had been ticketed under the wrong code section and would not have to pay or go to court.

Most of us, most of the time, think and act as though there are facts about good and bad, right and wrong.

But Cosby Truthers are applying their principles to the wrong cause.

Andy Serkis, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Do you want to be on the wrong side of history, Academy?

Yes, publicizing tragedy gets clicks, gets ad revenue, gets notoriety, and can be done for all the wrong reasons.

Too bad director Ava DuVernay gets the history wrong in Selma.

The only great thing he did as governor was to insist that the death penalty was just wrong.

He asked what time was usually spent in determining between right and wrong, and what degree of expense?

To see a part of my scheme, from which I had hoped so much, go wrong before my eyes is maddening!

So far as the right or wrong of having contraband whisky was concerned, I don't think any one gave it a second thought.

Strange to say, the silken cord yielded to the first pull, as if nothing had been wrong with it at all!

Of Liszt the first part of this is not true, for if he strikes a wrong note it is simply because he chooses to be careless.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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