When something goes wrong with a decent plan, you say it has gone awry. Losing your backpack is a mistake, but when you realize it contained your ticket and your passport, your vacation plans really go awry.

Wry means "twisted" — so going awry means getting "twisted up." Awry is similar to askew, which means "off, out of line." Though when you compare the roots skew, "turned at an angle" and wry, "twisted," you see the subtle difference between the two words.

Definitions of awry
  1. adverb
    turned or twisted to one side
    “with his necktie twisted awry
    synonyms: askew, skew-whiff
  2. adverb
    away from the correct or expected course
    “something has gone awry in our plans”
    synonyms: amiss
  3. adjective
    turned or twisted toward one side
    “"a...youth with a gorgeous red necktie all awry"- G.K.Chesterton”
    synonyms: askew, cockeyed, lopsided, skew-whiff, wonky
    having or marked by bends or angles; not straight or aligned
  4. adjective
    not functioning properly
    synonyms: amiss, haywire, wrong
    malfunctioning, nonfunctional
    not performing or able to perform its regular function
Word Family

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