Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Middle English wrongnesse, equivalent to wrong +‎ -ness.



wrongness (usually uncountable, plural wrongnesses)

  1. The quality of being wrong; error or fault.
    • 1917, Jack London, Jerry of the Islands, New York: Macmillan, Chapter 4, p. 47,[1]
      Often, on the plantation, he had seen the white men take drinks. But there was something somehow different in the manner of Borckman’s taking a drink. Jerry was aware, vaguely, that there was something surreptitious about it. What was wrong he did not know, yet he sensed the wrongness and watched suspiciously.
    • 1961, C. S. Lewis, A Grief Observed, London: Faber & Faber, 1964, Chapter 3, p. 30,[2]
      It’s not true that I’m always thinking of H. Work and conversation make that impossible. But the times when I’m not are perhaps my worst. For then, though I have forgotten the reason, there is spread over everything a vague sense of wrongness, of something amiss.
  2. Wrong or reprehensible things or actions.
    • 1907, George Bernard Shaw, Major Barbara, New York: Brentano’s, 1917, Act I, p. 57,[3]
      But your father didn’t exactly do wrong things: he said them and thought them: that was what was so dreadful. He really had a sort of religion of wrongness. Just as one doesn’t mind men practising immorality so long as they own that they are in the wrong by preaching morality; so I couldn’t forgive Andrew for preaching immorality while he practised morality.
    • 1937, Elizabeth Sparks, Interview transcribed in Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves, Washington: Library of Congress, 1941, Volume 17, Virginia Narratives,[4]
      Old Massa done so much wrongness I couldn’t tell yer all of it.