wrong Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “wrong” in the English Dictionary

"wrong" in British English

See all translations

wrongadjective

uk   /rɒŋ/  us   /rɑːŋ/
  • wrong adjective (NOT CORRECT)

A1 not ​correct: Three of ​youranswers were wrong. That ​clock is wrong - it's 12.30, not 12.15. Some of his ​facts are ​questionable, ​others are plainly (= ​completely) wrong. A2 If someone is wrong, they are not ​correct in ​theirjudgment or ​statement about something: You were wrong about the ​time - the ​bankclosed at 3.30. He's wrong inthinking that we will ​support the ​projectfinancially.prove sb wrong to show by ​youractions that someone's ​judgment of you was not ​correct: I ​thought she couldn't do it, but she ​proved me wrong.

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  • wrong adjective (NOT SUITABLE)

C1 not ​suitable or ​correct, or not as it should be: She's the wrong ​person for the ​job. We must have taken a wrong ​turning. I'm ​sorry, you've got the wrong number (= this is not the ​phonenumber you ​wanted). Something that is wrong is not ​considered to be ​sociallyacceptable or ​suitable: She got in with the wrong ​crowd (= a ​group of ​people who ​behavedbadly) at ​university.B1 If you ​ask someone what is wrong, you ​want to ​know what is ​worrying or ​upsetting them: You've been ​quiet all ​evening. Is there anything wrong? What's wrong with you today?the wrong way around (mainly UK also the wrong way round) If something is the wrong way around, the ​part that should be at the ​front is at the back: You've got ​yourskirt on the wrong way round.

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  • wrong adjective (NOT MORAL)

B2 not ​consideredmorallyacceptable by most ​people: Children should be ​taught that ​violence is wrong. It was wrong of her to ​lie to you. What's wrong with having a little ​fun?
Opposite

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  • wrong adjective (NOT WORKING)

B1 [after verb] not ​workingcorrectly: Something's wrong with the ​television - the picture's ​fuzzy. The ​doctors are still ​trying to find out what's wrong.

wrongadverb

uk   /rɒŋ/  us   /rɑːŋ/
A2 informal in a way that is not ​correct: You've ​spelled my ​name wrong.
See also
get sth wrong B1 informal to make a ​mistake in the way you ​answer or ​understand something: I ​spenthours doing that ​problem and I still got the ​answer wrong. You've got it all wrong - it was ​yourboss that she was ​annoyed with and not you!go wrong

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B2 If a ​situation or ​event goes wrong, it ​becomesunpleasant and is not a ​success: Our ​marriagebegan to go wrong after we had ​our first ​child. to make a ​mistake: These ​shelves are very ​easy to put together - you can't go wrong. I ​thought I'd done this ​correctly - I just can't ​understand where I went wrong. B1 UK If a ​machine goes wrong, it ​stopsworkingcorrectly: Our TV ​keeps going wrong.

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wrongnoun

uk   /rɒŋ/  us   /rɑːŋ/
[U] what is ​considered to be ​morallyunacceptable: He has no ​sense of right and wrong. I was ​brought up to ​tell the ​truth and knowright from wrong. As ​far as her ​parents are ​concerned, she can do no wrong (= she is ​perfect in every way). [C] formal an ​unfairaction: He has done us a ​great wrong. She was ​trying to right (= do something to make ​better) the wrongs of the past.in the wrong If someone is in the wrong, they have made a ​mistake or done something that is ​bad or ​illegal: The ​driver was ​unquestionably in the wrong.

wrongverb [T]

uk   /rɒŋ/  us   /rɑːŋ/ formal
(Definition of wrong from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"wrong" in American English

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wrongadjective

 us   /rɔŋ/
  • wrong adjective (NOT CORRECT)

not ​correct or not ​accurate: Three of ​youranswers were wrong. That ​clock is wrong – it’s 12:30, not 12:15. I ​dialed the wrong ​number.
  • wrong adjective (NOT SUITABLE)

not ​suitable or ​desirable, or not as it should be: It was the wrong ​time to ​ask for a ​raise. She was just the wrong ​person for the ​job.
  • wrong adjective (IMMORAL)

[not gradable] not ​morallyacceptable: He ​believes that ​censorship is wrong.
  • wrong adjective (NOT WORKING)

[not gradable] not ​workingcorrectly: Something’s wrong with the ​dishwasher – it’s ​leaking again.
wrong
adverb [not gradable]  us   /rɔŋ/
It doesn’t ​work – what am I doing wrong?

wrongverb [T]

 us   /rɔŋ/
  • wrong verb [T] (TREAT UNFAIRLY)

to ​treat someone in an ​unfair or ​unacceptable way: He ​felt he had been wronged, but everyone ​elseblamed him for what ​happened. To wrong someone is also to ​judge someone ​unfairly and ​expressuncertainty about that person’s ​character: That ​reporter wronged her, saying she was an ​unfitmother.

wrongnoun

 us   /rɔŋ/
  • wrong noun (IMMORAL ACT)

[C/U] behavior or an ​act that is ​morallyunacceptable; ​evil or an ​evilact: [U] She has a ​keensense of ​right and wrong. [C] It’s ​impossible to ​exaggerate the wrongs caused by ​slavery.
  • wrong noun (ACT THAT IS NOT CORRECT)

behavior or an ​act that is not ​correct: If there's been a wrong, ​physicians (= ​doctors)want it made ​right.
(Definition of wrong from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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