get in wrong, Slang. to cause to come into disfavor: We are forever getting in wrong with the people next door.
    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.
    in the wrong, to blame; in error: He knew he was in the wrong but refused to concede the point.

Origin of wrong

before 1100; (adj.) Middle English wrong, wrang, Old English wrang, perhaps < Old Danish wrang; compare Danish vrang wrong, Old Norse rangr awry; (v. and adv.) Middle English, derivative of the adj.; (noun) Middle English; Old English wrang, derivative of the adj.; akin to wring
Related formswrong·er, nounwrong·ly, adverbwrong·ness, nounqua·si-wrong, adjective
Can be confusedwrong wrongful

Synonyms for wrong Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wrongly

Contemporary Examples of wrongly

Historical Examples of wrongly

  • His motive in doing so is that the wrongly suspected may be cleared.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • Falsepeace insisted that he was wrongly named in the indictment.


    James Anthony Froude

  • Light and heavy are wrongly explained with reference to a lower and higher in place.



  • There was a sort of scoff in it which rightly or wrongly he took to himself.

    The Missionary

    George Griffith

  • They run a great risk of not understanding them at all, or of understanding them wrongly.

British Dictionary definitions for wrongly



not correct or truthfulthe wrong answer
acting or judging in erroryou are wrong to think that
(postpositive) immoral; badit is wrong to cheat
deviating from or unacceptable to correct or conventional laws, usage, etc
not intended or wantedthe wrong road
(postpositive) not working properly; amisssomething is wrong with the engine
US (of a side, esp of a fabric) intended to face the inside so as not to be seen
get on the wrong side of or US get in wrong with informal to come into disfavour with
go down the wrong way (of food) to pass into the windpipe instead of the gullet


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


a bad, immoral, or unjust thing or action
  1. an infringement of another person's rights, rendering the offender liable to a civil action, as for breach of contract or torta private wrong
  2. a violation of public rights and duties, affecting the community as a whole and actionable at the instance of the Crowna public wrong
in the wrong mistaken or guilty

verb (tr)

to treat unjustly
to discredit, malign, or misrepresent
to seduce or violate
Derived Formswronger, nounwrongly, adverbwrongness, noun

Word Origin for wrong

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



late Old English, "twisted, crooked, wry," from Old Norse rangr, earlier *wrangr "crooked, wry, wrong," from Proto-Germanic *wrangaz (cf. Danish vrang "crooked, wrong," Middle Dutch wranc, Dutch wrang "sour, bitter," literally "that which distorts the mouth"), from PIE *wrengh- "to turn" (see wring).

Sense of "not right, bad, immoral, unjust" developed by c.1300. Wrong thus is etymologically a negative of right (from Latin rectus, literally "straight"). Latin pravus was literally "crooked," but most commonly "wrong, bad;" and other words for "crooked" also have meant "wrong" in Italian and Slavic. Cf. also French tort "wrong, injustice," from Latin tortus "twisted." Wrong-headed first recorded 1732. To get up on the wrong side (of the bed) "be in a bad mood" is recorded from 1801.



"that which is improper or unjust," c.1100, from wrong (adj.). Meaning "an unjust action" is recorded from c.1200.



"to do wrong to," early 14c., from wrong (adj.). Related: Wronged; wronging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with wrongly


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.

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