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. adjective
    not just or fair
    “a wrongful act”
    “a wrongful charge”
    violating principles of justice
  2. adjective
    unlawfully violating the rights of others
    wrongful death”
    “a wrongful diversion of trust income”
    contrary to or prohibited by or defiant of law
  3. adjective
    having no legally established claim
    “the wrongful heir to the throne”
    synonyms: unlawful
    of marriages and offspring; not recognized as lawful
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘wrongful'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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