Definition of wrong adverb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//rɒŋ//
; NAmE NAmE//rɔːŋ//
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  •  (used after verbs) in a way that produces a result that is not correct or that you do not want My name is spelt wrong. The program won't load. What am I doing wrong? I was trying to apologize but it came out wrong (= what I said sounded wrong). ‘I thought you were going out.’ ‘Well you must have thought wrong, then!’ opposite right Which Word?wrong / wrongly / wrongfully In informal language wrong can be used as an adverb instead of wrongly, when it means ‘incorrectly’ and comes after a verb or its object:My name was spelled wrong. I’m afraid you guessed wrong.Wrongly is used before a past participle or a that clause:My name was wrongly spelt. She guessed wrongly that he was a teacher. Wrongfully is usually used in a formal legal situation with words like convicted, dismissed and imprisoned.
  • Word Originlate Old English wrang, from Old Norse rangr ‘awry, unjust’; related to wring.Idioms (informal) to not understand correctly what somebody means Don’t get me wrong (= do not be offended by what I am going to say), I think he’s doing a good job, but…
      get something wrong (informal)
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    1. 1  to not understand a situation correctly No, you've got it all wrong. She's his wife.
    2. 2  to make a mistake with something I must have got the figures wrong. It looks like they got their predictions wrong again.
    1. 1  to make a mistake If you do what she tells you, you won't go far wrong. Where did we go wrong with those kids (= what mistakes did we make for them to behave so badly)?
    2. 2  (of a machine) to stop working correctly My watch keeps going wrong.
    3. 3  to experience problems or difficulties The relationship started to go wrong when they moved abroad. What else can go wrong (= what other problems are we going to have)? What went wrong? You were doing really well.
    (usually used in negative sentences) to make a mistake In the last two games he has hardly put a foot wrong.
    you can’t go wrong (with something)
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    (informal) used to say that something will always be acceptable in a particular situation For a quick lunch you can't go wrong with pasta.
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: wrong