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[uh-rahy] /əˈraɪ/
adverb, adjective
with a turn or twist to one side; askew:
to glance or look awry.
away from the expected or proper direction; amiss; wrong:
Our plans went awry.
Origin of awry
1325-75; Middle English on wry. See a-1, wry Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for awry
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His cap was gone, and his hair was awry; he was scarcely recognizable for a mask of perspiration and powder grime.

    The Cryptogram William Murray Graydon
  • The stove, with its perspective all awry, was tame and precise, and in colour as dingy as mire.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • The bands of his profession were ever awry upon a tattered shirt.

    A Book of Scoundrels Charles Whibley
  • Knowledge boxes all awry, mouths crooked, and noses that have had the upper-cut.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • We should know its dirty appearance and awry folding—not to mention bad writing—among ten thousand.

    Post Haste R.M. Ballantyne
  • Anna Belle's nose was buried in the grass and her hat was awry.

    Jewel Clara Louise Burnham
  • In place-names it may generally be translated by 'sloping' or 'aslant;' sometimes by 'awry' or 'tortuous.'

  • His coat is soiled and torn, his cravat is put on awry, and his linen is none of the cleanest.

    City Crimes Greenhorn
British Dictionary definitions for awry


adverb, adjective (postpositive)
with a slant or twist to one side; askew
away from the appropriate or right course; amiss
Word Origin
C14 on wry; see a-², wry
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 awry

late 14c., "crooked, askew," from a- (1) "on" + wry (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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