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.

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. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
astray (əˈstreɪ)
adj, —adv
1.  out of the correct path or direction
2.  out of the right, good, or expected way; into error
[C13: from Old French estraie roaming, from estraier to stray]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, astraied, borrowed from O.Fr. estraie, pp. of estraier "astray, riderless, lost," lit. "on stray" (see stray (v.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see best-laid plans go astray; go astray.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
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.
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