wrong (adj.)

late Old English, "twisted, crooked, wry," from Old Norse rangr, earlier *vrangr "crooked, wry, wrong," from Proto-Germanic *wrang- (source also of Danish vrang "crooked, wrong," Middle Dutch wranc, Dutch wrang "sour, bitter," literally "that which distorts the mouth"), from *wrengh-, nasalized variant of *wergh- "to turn," from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend."

Sense of "not right, bad, immoral, unjust" developed by c. 1300. Wrong thus is etymologically a negative of right (adj.1), which is 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. Compare French tort "wrong, injustice," from Latin tortus "twisted."

As an adverb from c. 1200. Wrong-headed is recorded by 1732. To get up on the wrong side (of the bed) "be in a bad mood" is recorded from 1801, according to OED, from its supposed influence on one's temper; it appears in Halliwell's "Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words" in 1846, but doesn't seem to have been used much generally before late 1870s. To rise on the right side (of the bed) is proverbial by 1560s indicating either good luck or a good disposition. To be on the wrong side of a given age, "older than," is from 1660s. Wrong side of the road (that reserved for oncoming traffic) is by 1838. To be from (or on) the wrong side of the tracks "from the poor part of town" is from 1921, American English.

wrong (n.)

"that which is improper or unjust," late Old English, from wrong (adj.). Meaning "an unjust action" is recorded from c. 1200. Wrong-doer is from late 14c.

wrong (v.)

"to do wrong to," early 14c., from wrong (adj.). Related: Wronged; wronging.

updated on August 19, 2021

Definitions of wrong from WordNet
wrong (adj.)
not functioning properly;
something is wrong with the engine
Synonyms: amiss / awry / haywire
wrong (adj.)
not correct; not in conformity with fact or truth;
the report in the paper is wrong
the clock showed the wrong time
found themselves on the wrong road
your information is wrong
based on the wrong assumptions
Synonyms: incorrect
wrong (adj.)
contrary to conscience or morality or law;
it is wrong for the rich to take advantage of the poor
it is wrong to lie
cheating is wrong
wrong (adj.)
not appropriate for a purpose or occasion;
said all the wrong things
Synonyms: improper
wrong (adj.)
based on or acting or judging in error;
it is wrong to think that way
wrong (adj.)
not in accord with established usage or procedure;
the wrong way to shuck clams
the wrong medicine
Synonyms: incorrect
wrong (adj.)
used of the side of cloth or clothing intended to face inward;
socks worn wrong side out
wrong (adj.)
badly timed;
it was the wrong moment for a joke
wrong (adj.)
characterized by errors; not agreeing with a model or not following established rules;
the wrong side of the road
Synonyms: faulty / incorrect
wrong (n.)
that which is contrary to the principles of justice or law;
he feels that you are in the wrong
Synonyms: wrongfulness
wrong (n.)
any harm or injury resulting from a violation of a legal right;
Synonyms: legal injury / damage
wrong (v.)
treat unjustly; do wrong to;
wrong (adv.)
in an inaccurate manner;
she guessed wrong
Synonyms: incorrectly / wrongly
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.