AskDefine | Define wrong

The Collaborative Dictionary

Private \Pri"vate\ (?; 48), a. [L. privatus apart from the state, peculiar to an individual, private, properly p. p. of privare to bereave, deprive, originally, to separate, fr. privus single, private, perhaps originally, put forward (hence, alone, single) and akin to prae before. See Prior, a., and cf. Deprive, Privy, a.]
Belonging to, or concerning, an individual person, company, or interest; peculiar to one's self; unconnected with others; personal; one's own; not public; not general; separate; as, a man's private opinion; private property; a private purse; private expenses or interests; a private secretary. [1913 Webster]
Sequestered from company or observation; appropriated to an individual; secret; secluded; lonely; solitary; as, a private room or apartment; private prayer. [1913 Webster] Reason . . . then retires Into her private cell when nature rests. --Milton. [1913 Webster]
Not invested with, or engaged in, public office or employment; as, a private citizen; private life. --Shak. [1913 Webster] A private person may arrest a felon. --Blackstone. [1913 Webster]
Not publicly known; not open; secret; as, a private negotiation; a private understanding. [1913 Webster]
Having secret or private knowledge; privy. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Private act or Private statute, a statute exclusively for the settlement of private and personal interests, of which courts do not take judicial notice; -- opposed to a general law, which operates on the whole community. In the United States Congress, similar private acts are referred to as private law and a general law as a public law. Private nuisance or wrong. See Nuisance. Private soldier. See Private, n.,
Private way, a right of private passage over another man's ground; also, a road on private land, contrasted with public road, which is on a public right of way. --Kent. [1913 Webster +PJC]
Wrong \Wrong\, adv. In a wrong manner; not rightly; amiss; morally ill; erroneously; wrongly. [1913 Webster] Ten censure wrong for one that writes amiss. --Pope. [1913 Webster]
Wrong \Wrong\, obs. imp. of Wring. Wrung. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]
Wrong \Wrong\, n. [AS. wrang. See Wrong, a.] That which is not right. Specifically: (a) Nonconformity or disobedience to lawful authority, divine or human; deviation from duty; -- the opposite of moral right. [1913 Webster] When I had wrong and she the right. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] One spake much of right and wrong. --Milton. [1913 Webster] (b) Deviation or departure from truth or fact; state of falsity; error; as, to be in the wrong. (c) Whatever deviates from moral rectitude; usually, an act that involves evil consequences, as one which inflicts injury on a person; any injury done to, or received from; another; a trespass; a violation of right. [1913 Webster] Friend, I do thee no wrong. --Matt. xx.
[1913 Webster] As the king of England can do no wrong, so neither can he do right but in his courts and by his courts. --Milton. [1913 Webster] The obligation to redress a wrong is at least as binding as that of paying a debt. --E. Evereth. [1913 Webster] Note: Wrongs, legally, are private or public. Private wrongs are civil injuries, immediately affecting individuals; public wrongs are crimes and misdemeanors which affect the community. --Blackstone. [1913 Webster] [1913 Webster]
Wrong \Wrong\ (?; 115), a. [OE. wrong, wrang, a. & n., AS. wrang, n.; originally, awry, wrung, fr. wringan to wring; akin to D. wrang bitter, Dan. vrang wrong, Sw. vr[*a]ng, Icel. rangr awry, wrong. See Wring.] [1913 Webster]
Twisted; wry; as, a wrong nose. [Obs.] --Wyclif (Lev. xxi. 19). [1913 Webster]
Not according to the laws of good morals, whether divine or human; not suitable to the highest and best end; not morally right; deviating from rectitude or duty; not just or equitable; not true; not legal; as, a wrong practice; wrong ideas; wrong inclinations and desires. [1913 Webster]
Not fit or suitable to an end or object; not appropriate for an intended use; not according to rule; unsuitable; improper; incorrect; as, to hold a book with the wrong end uppermost; to take the wrong way. [1913 Webster] I have deceived you both; I have directed you to wrong places. --Shak. [1913 Webster]
Not according to truth; not conforming to fact or intent; not right; mistaken; erroneous; as, a wrong statement. [1913 Webster]
Designed to be worn or placed inward; as, the wrong side of a garment or of a piece of cloth. [1913 Webster] Syn: Injurious; unjust; faulty; detrimental; incorrect; erroneous; unfit; unsuitable. [1913 Webster]
Wrong \Wrong\ (?; 115), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Wronged; p. pr. & vb. n. Wronging.] [1913 Webster]
To treat with injustice; to deprive of some right, or to withhold some act of justice from; to do undeserved harm to; to deal unjustly with; to injure. [1913 Webster] He that sinneth . . . wrongeth his own soul. --Prov. viii.
[1913 Webster]
To impute evil to unjustly; as, if you suppose me capable of a base act, you wrong me. [1913 Webster] I rather choose To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you, Than I will wrong such honorable men. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Word Net

wrong adj
1 not correct; not in conformity with fact or truth; "an incorrect calculation"; "the report in the paper is wrong"; "your information is wrong"; "the clock showed the wrong time"; "found themselves on the wrong road"; "based on the wrong assumptions" [syn: incorrect] [ant: correct, correct]
2 contrary to conscience or morality or law; "it is wrong for the rich to take advantage of the poor"; "cheating is wrong"; "it is wrong to lie" [ant: right]
3 not appropriate for a purpose or occasion; "unsuitable attire for the office"; "said all the wrong things" [syn: unsuitable, improper]
4 not functioning properly; "something is amiss"; "has gone completely haywire"; "something is wrong with the engine" [syn: amiss(p), awry(p), haywire, wrong(p)]
5 not according with the facts; "unfortunately the statement was simply untrue"; "the facts as reported were wrong" [syn: untrue]
6 based on or acting or judging in error; "it is wrong to think that way" [ant: right]
7 not in accord with established usage or procedure; "the wrong medicine"; "the wrong way to shuck clams"
8 not conforming with accepted standards of propriety or taste; undesirable; "incorrect behavior"; "she was seen in all the wrong places"; "He thought it was wrong for her to go out to work" [syn: inappropriate, incorrect]
9 used of the side of cloth or clothing intended to face inward; "socks worn wrong side out"
10 badly timed; "an ill-timed intervention"; "you think my intrusion unseasonable"; "an untimely remark"; "it was the wrong moment for a joke" [syn: ill-timed(a), ill timed(p), unseasonable, untimely]


1 that which is contrary to the principles of justice or law; "he feels that you are in the wrong" [syn: wrongfulness] [ant: right, right]
2 a legal injury is any damage resulting from a violation of a legal right [syn: legal injury, damage] adv : in an incorrect manner; "she guessed wrong" [syn: incorrectly, wrongly] [ant: correctly, correctly] v : treat unjustly; do wrong to [ant: right]

Moby Thesaurus

abandoned, aberrancy, aberrant, aberration, abnormal, abominable, abomination, abroad, abuse, accursed, adrift, afflict, afield, aggrieve, all abroad, all off, all wet, all wrong, amiss, arrant, askew, astray, at fault, atrocious, atrocity, awry, bad, badly, bane, base, batty, befoul, befoulment, beside the mark, bewitch, black, blamable, blameworthy, blasphemous, blight, breach, bum, censurable, commit an atrocity, condemn, corrupt, corruption, cracked, crappy, crazed, crazy, crime, crime against humanity, criminal, crucify, crying evil, curse, daft, damage, damnable, dark, deadly sin, debauched, debt, deceptive, defective, defectiveness, defile, defilement, delict, delinquency, delinquent, delusion, delusive, demented, deprave, depraved, deranged, dereliction, despoil, despoliation, destroy, destruction, detriment, deviancy, deviant, deviational, deviative, diablerie, disadvantage, disgrace, disgraceful, dissatisfactory, disserve, disservice, dissolute, distorted, distortion, distress, do a disservice, do a mischief, do evil, do ill, do wrong, do wrong by, do wrong to, doom, enormity, envenom, errancy, errant, erring, erroneous, erroneously, erroneousness, error, evil, evildoing, evilly, execrable, failure, fallacious, fallaciously, fallaciousness, fallacy, false, falsely, falseness, falsity, fault, faultful, faultfully, faultily, faultiness, faulty, felonious, felony, flagitious, flagrant, flaw, flawed, flawedness, foul, futile, genocide, get into trouble, great wrong, grievance, gross injustice, guilty act, hamartia, harass, hardly the thing, harm, havoc, heavy sin, heinous, heresy, heretical, heterodox, heterodoxy, hex, hurt, ignominious, ill, ill-advised, ill-considered, ill-seasoned, ill-suited, ill-timed, ill-treat, illegal, illegality, illogical, illusion, illusory, immoral, impair, impolitic, imposition, improper, improperly, improperness, impropriety, in error, inaccurate, inadvisable, inappropriate, inapt, inauspicious, incongruous, inconvenient, incorrect, incorrectly, indecorous, indecorously, indiscretion, inept, inequitable, inequitableness, inequity, inexpedient, inexpiable sin, infamous, infamy, infect, infection, infelicitous, inferior, iniquitous, iniquitousness, iniquity, injure, injury, injustice, inopportune, intempestive, intrusive, invalid, irrelevant, jinx, knavery, knavish, lapse, late, low, lunatic, mal a propos, malapropos, malefaction, malefactory, malevolent, malfeasance, malfeasant, maltreat, malum, menace, minor wrong, misapplication, miscarriage of justice, mischief, misconstruction, misdeed, misdemeanor, misdoing, misfeasance, misguided, misinterpretation, misjudgment, mistaken, mistakenly, mistimed, mistreat, molest, monstrous, mortal sin, naughty, nefarious, nonfeasance, not done, not right, not the thing, not true, obliquity, off, off base, off the track, off-base, off-color, offend, offense, omission, oppress, out, out of line, out of phase, out of place, out of time, out-of-line, outrage, peccadillo, peccancy, peccant, persecute, perverse, perversion, perverted, play havoc with, play hob with, poison, pollute, pollution, poor, prejudice, premature, punk, rank, raw deal, reprehensible, reprobacy, reprobate, rotten, sacrilegious, savage, scandal, scandalous, scathe, self-contradiction, self-contradictory, shame, shameful, shameless, sin, sin of commission, sin of omission, sinful, sinful act, sinfulness, sinister, slip, specious, straying, taint, terrible, the worst, threaten, too late, too soon, torment, tort, torture, toxin, transgression, trespass, trip, unbalanced, unbefitting, unblessed, under an error, undeserved, undesirable, undue, undueness, unequal, unequitable, uneven, unfactual, unfairness, unfavorable, unfavorably, unfit, unfitting, unforgivable, unfortunate, unhandy, unhappy, unhealthy, unholy, unjust, unjustness, unkind, unlawful, unlawfulness, unlucky, unmeet, unmeetness, unmerited, unorthodox, unorthodoxy, unpardonable, unpleasant, unprofitable, unpropitious, unproved, unready, unrighteous, unrightful, unripe, unsatisfactory, unseasonable, unseemly, unskillful, unsound, unspeakable, unsuitable, untimely, untoward, untrue, untrueness, untruly, untruth, untruthfulness, unutterable sin, unwise, unworthy, up, venial sin, venom, vexation, vicious, vile, villainous, villainy, violate, violation, wicked, wickedness, wide, woe, wound, wreak havoc on, wrongdoing, wrongful, wrongfully, wrongfulness, wrongly, wrongness





  • a RP /rɒŋ/
  • a US /rɔːŋ/
  • Rhymes with: -ɒŋ


  1. Incorrect or untrue.
    Some of your answers were correct, and some were wrong.
    • 1592: William Shakespeare, Richard III; Act II, Scene I, line 54. — Among this princely heap, if any here By false intelligence or wrong surmise Hold me a foe...
  2. Asserting something incorrect or untrue.
    You're wrong: he's not Superman at all.
  3. Immoral, not good, bad.
    It is wrong to lie.
  4. Improper; unfit; unsuitable.
    A bikini is the wrong thing to wear on a cold day.
  5. Not working; out of order.
    Something is wrong with my cellphone.
  6. Designed to be worn or placed inward; as, the wrong side of a garment or of a piece of cloth

Usage notes

  • "More wrong" and "most wrong" are preferred in contemporary English. "Wronger" and "wrongest" are currently often used for comedic effect, but were used by Shakespeare in full earnest.


not working
designed to be worn or placed inward


  • 2007 January 3, Ken Miller, “The Collapse of Intelligent Design: Will the next Monkey Trial be in Ohio?”, Case Western University, Strosacker Auditorium
    that statement is wrong. Now that's not an incidental statement, that is the heart and soul of the Intelligent Design argument, and in this case it turns out to be wrong. Now it's even wronger than that [laugher] because it turns out that not only do these proteins make up the Type-III Secretory Apparatus but almost every protein in the bacerial flagellum is strongly homologous to proteins that have other functions elsewhere in the cell.


  1. In a way that isn't right; done incorrectly; wrongly.
    I spelled several names wrong in my address book.


done incorrectly


  1. Something that is immoral or not good.
    Injustice is a heinous wrong.
  2. The incorrect or unjust position or opinion. (Or is it the wronged?)
    • 1592: William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part III, Act IV, Scene I, line 101. — I blame not her: she could say little less; She had the wrong.
  3. The opposite of right; something which is wrong, particularly injustice.
    • 1607: William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens, Act IV, Scene III, line 28. — Thus much of this will make Black white, foul fair, wrong right, Base noble, old young, coward valiant.


something immoral
incorrect opinion or position
something incorrect, injustice


  1. To treat unjustly; to injure or harm.
    The dealer wronged us by selling us this lemon of a car.
    • 1591: William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part I, Act II, Scene IV, line 109. — Thou dost then wrong me, as that slaughterer doth Which giveth many wounds when one will kill.
  2. To deprive of some right, or to withhold some act of justice.
    • 1597: William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part II, Act IV, Scene I, line 121. — ... And might by no suit gain our audience. When we are wrong'd and would unfold our griefs, We are denied access unto his person Even by those men that most have done us wrong.
  3. To slander; to impute evil to unjustly.
    • 1598: William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene II, line 121. — O masters! if I were dispos'd to stir Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage, I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong, Who (you all know) are honorable men. I will not do them wrong; I rather choose To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you, Than I will wrong such honorable men.


treat unjustly
deprive of a right
slander or impute evil

See also



  • /vroŋ/


  1. Past tense singular of wringen: wrung.
A wrong or being wrong is a concept in law, ethics, and science. In a colloquial sense, wrongness usually refers to a state of incorrectness, inaccuracy, error or miscalculation in any number of contexts. More specifically, being "wrong" refers to a situation wherein an individual has made an error or misjudgment.


In law, a wrong can be a legal injury, which is any damage resulting from a violation of a legal right. It can also imply the state of being contrary to the principles of justice or law. It means that something is contrary to conscience or morality and results in treating others unjustly. If the loss caused by a wrong is minor enough, there is no compensation, which principle is known as de minimis non curat lex. Otherwise, damages apply.


In ethics, wrong is the opposite of right. In a relativist consideration of ethics, the factors affecting the way different cultures determine norms for what is wrong form part of the subject-matter of anthropology.


A scientific concept is said to be wrong if it can be used to make specific predictions of the results of experiments, but those predictions do not correspond with physical reality (i.e. the concept can be falsified in the Popperian sense, and has also been shown to be false). Wolfgang Pauli is said to have coined the phrase "not even wrong" to describe concepts that cannot be falsified (either because they do not refer to measurable effects, or because they are too incoherent to be used to make predictions).


  • Willis, Hugh. Principles of the Law of Damages. The Keefe-Davidson Co.: St. Paul, 1910.
wrong in Arabic: غلط
wrong in Simple English: Wrong
wrong in Swedish: Falskhet
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