- wrong (adj.)
- 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.
- wrong (n.)
- "that which is improper or unjust," c.1100, from wrong (adj.). Meaning "an unjust action" is recorded from c.1200.
- wrong (v.)
- "to do wrong to," early 14c., from wrong (adj.). Related: Wronged; wronging.