[rawng-fuh l, rong-]


unjust or unfair: a wrongful act; a wrongful charge.
having no legal right; unlawful: The court ruled it was a wrongful diversion of trust income.

Origin of wrongful

Middle English word dating back to 1275–1325; see origin at wrong, -ful
Related formswrong·ful·ly, adverbwrong·ful·ness, nounun·wrong·ful, adjectiveun·wrong·ful·ly, adverbun·wrong·ful·ness, noun
Can be confusedwrong wrongful
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wrongful

Contemporary Examples of wrongful

  • No doubt, there are wrongful convictions that result from misidentification and coerced confessions.

    The Daily Beast logo
    How I Stopped My Rapist

    Natasha Alexenko

    November 24, 2014

  • Nevertheless, the family of the little girl sued the company for wrongful death.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Ten Worst Uber Horror Stories

    Olivia Nuzzi

    November 19, 2014

  • The specter of wrongful convictions haunts the public officials involved.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Myth of the Central Park Five

    Edward Conlon

    October 19, 2014

  • The Innocence Project has done deservedly celebrated work exposing cases of wrongful convictions, chiefly in rapes and homicides.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Myth of the Central Park Five

    Edward Conlon

    October 19, 2014

  • Opposition to both wrongful birth suits and wrongful life suits comes from an unusually wide array of the political spectrum.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Parents Sue for 'Wrongful Birth'

    Elizabeth Picciuto

    August 17, 2014

Historical Examples of wrongful

  • The good Bishop of Montreal absolved her from her wrongful vow.

    A Little Girl in Old Detroit

    Amanda Minnie Douglas

  • Any wrongful and direct application of force is redressed by that action.

    The Common Law

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

  • That is the image of Ægisthus, upon whom vengeance came for the wrongful deed.

    Homer's Odyssey

    Denton J. Snider

  • He pleaded with them to repent and turn from their wrongful course.

    Wilford Woodruff

    Matthias F. Cowley

  • Who seeks to please him in any wrongful way will assuredly succeed.

British Dictionary definitions for wrongful



immoral, unjust, or illegal
Derived Formswrongfully, adverbwrongfulness, 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