Why was clemency trending last week?


[uh-strey] /əˈstreɪ/
adverb, adjective
out of the right way; off the correct or known road, path, or route:
Despite specific instructions, they went astray and got lost.
away from that which is right; into error, confusion, or undesirable action or thought:
They were led astray by their lust for money.
Origin of astray
1250-1300; Middle English astraye < Anglo-French *astraié, Old French estraié, past participle of estraier; see stray Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for astray
  • In this overstuffed sentence, three plural nouns appeared between the singular subject and the verb, leading us astray.
  • But foreign donors are also frustrated that aid money goes astray.
  • But a traveler half-crazed by thirst could go fatally astray while pursuing such a vision.
  • The dietary guide introduced a decade ago has led people astray.
  • The briefcases also have a tracking feature that allows a computer gone astray to call home for help.
  • Even in this short sentence, the intervening phrase led us astray.
  • Many millions of dollars of foreign aid have already gone astray.
  • Periodically, once or twice a decade, the river of krill seems to go astray.
  • He soon grew wise to the tactic, and would not be led astray.
  • First, where this article goes astray in my opinion.
British Dictionary definitions for astray


adjective, adverb (postpositive)
out of the correct path or direction
out of the right, good, or expected way; into error
Word Origin
C13: from Old French estraie roaming, from estraier to stray
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for astray

c.1300, astraied "away from home; lost," borrowed and partially nativized from Old French estraie, past participle of estraier "astray, riderless (of a horse), lost," literally "on stray" (see stray (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with astray
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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