- (chiefly predicative) Wrong; faulty; out of order; improper or otherwise incorrect.
- He suspected something was amiss.
- Something amiss in the arrangements had distracted the staff.
- 1722, William Wollaston, The Religion of Nature Delineated:
- His wisdom and virtue cannot always rectify that which is amiss in himself or his circumstances.
- 1836, Charles Joseph La Trobe, The Rambler in Mexico:
- Moreover, all were furnished with carbines and cartridge boxes, and the leader was armed with a sabre with a leather sheath. This was not so much amiss, and would do very well at a distance: but during the two hours' halt at the village aforesaid, I took it into my head, while the owners were enjoying their siesta under the shade of the gateway, just to stride in among them, and take a nearer inspection of the weapons.
- 2009, Robert Perrucci, Carolyn Cummings Perrucci, America at Risk: The Crisis of Hope, Trust, and Caring:
- There is a strong feeling across the land that something is amiss in America. You sometimes hear about these feelings when people discuss their concerns about how the baby boom generation is going to bankrupt our social security or Medicare programs, or about the growing size of the national debt that will be paid for by future generations.
Derived terms edit
wrong — see also wrong
amiss (not comparable)
- (archaic) Wrongly; mistakenly
- c. 1596–1598 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene ix]:
- The fire seven times tried this:
Seven times tried that judgement is,
That did never choose amiss.
Some there be that shadows kiss:
Such have but a shadow's bliss.
There be fools alive, I wis,
Silver'd o'er; and so was this.
I will ever be your head:
So be gone: you are sped.
- 1899, The Laxdaela Saga (translated by Muriel A. C. Press) Chapter 44
- Then Hrefna said she would coif herself with it, and Thurid said she had better, and Hrefna did so. When Kalf saw that he gave her to understand that she had done amiss; and bade her take it off at her swiftest. "For that is the one thing that we, Kjartan and I, do not own in common."
amiss (plural amisses)
- (obsolete) Fault; wrong; an evil act, a bad deed.
- 1635, John Donne, His parting from her:
- Yet Love, thou'rt blinder then thy self in this, / To vex my Dove-like friend for my amiss […] .
Further reading edit
- “amiss”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
- “amiss”, in The Century Dictionary […], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.