wrongful

If something's not fair, or especially if it's illegal, you can call it wrongful. If a company violates an employee's contract and fires her, that would be a wrongful termination.

This adjective is mainly used in a legal context. Being arrested when there's no evidence is a wrongful arrest, and if you're found guilty of a crime you didn't commit, that would be a wrongful conviction. We've used this word since the 14th century to mean "not fair" or "unjust." It derives from an Old English word meaning "crooked or twisted."

Definitions of wrongful
1

adj not just or fair

“a wrongful act”
“a wrongful charge”
Synonyms:
unjust
violating principles of justice

adj unlawfully violating the rights of others

wrongful death”
“a wrongful diversion of trust income”
Synonyms:
unlawful
contrary to or prohibited by or defiant of law

adj having no legally established claim

“the wrongful heir to the throne”
Synonyms:
unlawful
illegitimate
of marriages and offspring; not recognized as lawful

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