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From a- +‎ miss.



amiss (comparative more amiss, superlative most amiss)

  1. Wrong; faulty; out of order; improper or otherwise incorrect
    He suspected something was amiss.
    Something amiss in the arrangements had distracted the staff.
    • 2009, Robert Perrucci and Carolyn Cummings Perrucci, America at Risk: The Crisis of Hope, Trust, and Caring
      There is a strong feeling across the land that something is amiss in America. You sometimes hear about these feelings when people discuss their concerns about how the baby boom generation is going to bankrupt our social security or Medicare programs, or about the growing size of the national debt that will be paid for by future generations.
    • 1836, Charles Joseph La Trobe, The Rambler in Mexico
      Moreover, all were furnished with carbines and cartridge boxes, and the leader was armed with a sabre with a leather sheath. This was not so much amiss, and would do very well at a distance: but during the two hours' halt at the village aforesaid, I took it into my bead, while the owners were enjoying their siesta under the shade of the gateway, just to stride in among them, and take a nearer inspection of the weapons
    • '1722, William Wollaston, The Religion of Nature Delineated
      His wisdom and virtue cannot always rectify that which is amiss in himself or his circumstances.

Derived terms[edit]



amiss (comparative more amiss, superlative most amiss)

  1. Mistakenly, wrongly.
    • 1899, The Laxdaela Saga (translated by Muriel A. C. Press) Chapter 44
      Then Hrefna said she would coif herself with it, and Thurid said she had better, and Hrefna did so. When Kalf saw that he gave her to understand that she had done amiss; and bade her take it off at her swiftest. "For that is the one thing that we, Kjartan and I, do not own in common."


amiss (plural amisses)

  1. (obsolete) Fault; wrong; an evil act, a bad deed.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, II.i:
      Now by my head (said Guyon) much I muse, / How that same knight should do so foule amis [...].
    • 1635, John Donne, "His parting from her":
      Yet Love, thou'rt blinder then thy self in this, / To vex my Dove-like friend for my amiss [...].

Further reading[edit]