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[uh-mis] /əˈmɪs/
out of the right or proper course, order, or condition; improperly; wrongly; astray:
Did I speak amiss?
adjective, (usually used predicatively)
improper; wrong; faulty:
I think something is amiss in your calculations.
take amiss, to be offended at or resentful of (something not meant to cause offense or resentment); misunderstand:
I couldn't think of a way to present my view so that no one would take it amiss.
Origin of amiss
1200-50; Middle English amis, equivalent to a- a-1 + mis wrong. See miss1
1. inappropriately, unsuitably. 2. mistaken, erroneous; awry, askew.
1. rightly, properly. 2. correct, true. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for take amiss
Historical Examples
  • If ever I am in rough water and foul weather, I hope he will not take amiss anything I have here written about him.

    Saunterings Charles Dudley Warner
  • On my honour as a gentleman, I will never say another word that you can take amiss.

    Is He Popenjoy? Anthony Trollope
  • Who could take amiss the rebuke of the kindly satirist, who was so ready to show up his own weaknesses?

    Horace Theodore Martin
  • "Dear Johanna, you must not take amiss what he says," Helena began, with a furtive smile.

    A Noble Name Claire Von Glmer
  • Perhaps he is armed with a club, and may take amiss the use of an instrument that has to be poked into his ears, or what not.

    Anthropology Robert Marett
  • I hope you did not take amiss my declining your visit yesterday.

    Clarissa, Volume 5 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • I only hope that if ever anything of all this is published they will not take amiss anything written herein.

    The Secrets of a Kuttite Edward O. Mousley
  • I afterwards told him my opinion of this species of prayer, which however, he did not take amiss.

    Travels in England in 1782 Charles P. Moritz
  • Curlydown was a strictly hospitable man, and in his own house would not appear to take amiss anything his guest might say.

    John Caldigate Anthony Trollope
  • It would clearly be impossible to take amiss anything that this woman might choose to say.

British Dictionary definitions for take amiss


in an incorrect, inappropriate, or defective manner
take something amiss, to be annoyed or offended by something
(postpositive) wrong, incorrect, or faulty
Word Origin
C13 a mis, from mis wrong; see miss1
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 take amiss



mid-13c., amis "off the mark," also "out of order," literally "on the miss," from a "in, on" (see a- (1)) + missen "fail to hit" (see miss (v.)). To take (something) amiss originally (late 14c.) was "to miss the meaning of" (see mistake). Now it means "to misinterpret in a bad sense."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with take amiss

take amiss


see under take the wrong way
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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