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go astray

Wander off the right path or subject; also, wander into evil or error. For example, It was hard to follow the lecturer's gist, since he kept going astray, or The gang members led him astray, and he ended up in court. This expression alludes to sheep or other animals that stray from the rest of the flock. Indeed, Handel's oratorio Messiah (1741) has this chorus: “All we like sheep have gone astray, Every one to his own way.” [ c. 1300 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Examples from the Web for go astray
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  • For their entrances from that side are difficult to find, and from this side one cannot go astray, nor is there any obstacle.

  • Then Ralph called again, that his brother might not go astray.

    For the Liberty of Texas Edward Stratemeyer
  • It was a rare thing for the freight to be wrongly settled, or go astray after it was settled.

    The Shellback's Progress Walter Runciman
  • No parent can go astray in selection if he knows his own children.

    Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 10 Charles Herbert Sylvester
  • He would assuredly travel as fast as he could, and if he had understood my directions he was not likely to go astray.

    A Roman Singer F. Marion Crawford
  • I dread the place where many roads meet--the place where I may go astray.

    A Handful of Stars Frank W. Boreham
  • He will not tire of us, but will seek us, and save us when we go astray.

    The Good News of God Charles Kingsley
  • Rosie, if our example should make it easier for Harry to go astray!

    Janet's Love and Service Margaret M Robertson
  • Nothing is left to chance or muddle in Berlin, and unless you are a born fool you cannot go astray.

    Home Life in Germany Mrs. Alfred Sidgwick

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