Awry – Definition & Meaning

The word “awry” is a term that is commonly used in the English language. It is often used to describe situations or events that have gone wrong or have not gone according to plan. The word has an interesting history and has been used in various contexts throughout the years. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of the word “awry” in detail.


According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “awry” means “not working correctly or happening in the expected way.” It can also mean “turned or twisted to one side” or “out of the normal or correct position.”


The word “awry” comes from the Old English word “a-wriggan,” which means “to turn or twist.” Over time, the word evolved to mean “crooked” or “not straight.” The word “awry” has been in use since the 14th century.

Meaning in different dictionaries

In addition to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, other dictionaries define “awry” in similar ways. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “off course; amiss; wrong; askew.” The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “not in the intended or proper position” or “not happening in the way that was planned or expected.”


The word “awry” is often associated with negative events or situations. For example, a plan that has gone awry is a plan that has not gone according to plan. Similarly, a relationship that has gone awry is a relationship that has hit a rough patch or has not gone as smoothly as expected.


There are several synonyms for “awry” that can be used interchangeably. Some of these include crooked, askew, off-kilter, off-center, and amiss.


The antonyms of “awry” include straight, upright, correct, proper, and accurate.

The same root words

The word “awry” comes from the Old English word “a-wriggan,” which means “to turn or twist.” Other words that have the same root include “wriggle,” “wring,” and “wrinkle.”

Example Sentences

  1. The plan went awry when the weather turned bad.
  2. The painting was hanging awry on the wall.
  3. The relationship between the two friends went awry when one of them betrayed the other.
  4. The politician’s speech went awry when he stumbled over his words.
  5. The cake came out of the oven looking awry because the oven temperature was too high.
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