wrong (rông, rŏng)
1. Not in conformity with fact or truth; incorrect or erroneous: a wrong answer.
a. Contrary to conscience, morality, or law: Stealing is wrong.
b. Unfair; unjust: The kids felt it was wrong when some got to go on the field trip but not others.
3. Not required, intended, or wanted: took a wrong turn.
4. Not fitting or suitable; inappropriate or improper: said the wrong thing.
5. Not in accord with established usage, method, or procedure: the wrong way to shuck clams.
6. Not functioning properly; amiss: What is wrong with the TV?
7. Designating the side, as of a garment, that is less finished and not intended to show: socks worn wrong side out.
1. In a wrong manner; mistakenly or erroneously: answered wrong.
2. In a wrong course or direction: turned wrong at the crossroads.
3. Immorally or unjustly: She acted wrong in lying.
a. An unjust, injurious, or immoral act: felt that he had been done a wrong.
b. That which is unjust, immoral, or improper: doesn't seem to know right from wrong.
c. The condition of being in error or at fault: I hate being in the wrong.
a. An invasion or a violation of another's legal rights.
b. Law A tort.
tr.v. wronged, wrong·ing, wrongsIdioms:
1. To treat (someone) unjustly or injuriously.
2. To discredit unjustly; malign: "those whom he had wronged with his bitter pen" (Evan I. Schwartz).
do (someone) wrong Informal
To be unfaithful or disloyal.
1. To go amiss; turn out badly: What went wrong with their business?
2. To make a mistake or mistakes: parents wondering where they went wrong raising their child.
3. To behave immorally after a period of innocence or moral behavior: a young man who went wrong.
[Middle English, of Scandinavian origin; see wer-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.