A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Awry

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 188, 189

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 188, 189

Awry'. adv. [from a and wry.]

  1. Not in a strait direction; obliquely.

    But her sad eyes still fast'ned on the ground,
    Are governed with goodly modesty;
    That suffers not one look to glance awry,
    Which may let in a little thought unsound.
    Spens. Epithal.

    Like perspectives which rightly gaz'd upon,
    Shew nothing but confusion; ey'd awry,
    Distinguish form.
    Shakesp. Richard II.

                                When lo!
    A violent cross wind, from either coast,
    Blows them transverse; ten thousand leagues awry
    Into the devious air.
    Milton's Paradise Lost, b. ii.

  2. Asquint; with oblique vision.

                          You know the king
    With jealous eyes has look'd awry
    On his son's actions.
    Denham's Sophy.

  3. Not level; unevenly.

    I hap to step awry, where I see no path, and can discern but few steps afore me. Brerewood on Languages.

  4. Not equally between two points.

    Not tyrants fierce that unrepenting die,
    Not Cynthia when her manteau's pinn'd awry,
    Ere felt such rage.
    Pope's Rape of the Lock.

  5. Not in a right state; perversely.

    All awry, and which wried it to the most wry course of all, wit abused, rather to feign reason why it should be amiss, than how it should be amended. Sidney, b. ii.

    Much of the soul they talk, but all awry,
    And in themselves seek virtue, and to themselves
    All glory arrogate, to God give none.
    Paradise Regained.

Sources: Brerewood, Edward (4) · Denham, John (75) · Milton, John (449) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Shakespeare's Richard II (40) · Sidney, Philip (140) · Spenser, Edmund (254)

Attributes: Adverb (147)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Awry." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: January 22, 2014. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=2010.


  1. “Distinguish form. Shakesp. Richard III.”

    Should be: –

    “Distinguish form. Shakesp. Richard II.”

  2. Paul Baker on August 2nd, 2011 at 6:50 am
  3. Fixed. Thank you.

  4. Brandi on August 2nd, 2011 at 8:43 am

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