Definition of amiss in English:

amiss

adjective

  • predicative Not quite right; inappropriate or out of place.

    ‘there was something amiss about his calculations’
    • ‘When it finished and I had a look at my recent files there was clearly something amiss, something I couldn't ignore.’
    • ‘Why would he have had to do so unless he detected something amiss?’
    • ‘Michael arrived at the Wall to find no sign that anything was wrong or amiss.’
    • ‘Whatever was amiss, and something definitely was, this was a most uncharacteristic display.’
    • ‘But if something amiss happens in his own team's penalty area, that is usually the moment he was looking the other way.’
    • ‘I first noticed something was amiss by the helicopter circling over the Arakawa at about 8pm on Thursday evening.’
    • ‘No alarm went off, and the officers patrolling the perimeter didn't notice anything amiss.’
    • ‘Saying he would fight for the truth, he even attended a cabinet meeting chaired by the vice president as if nothing was amiss.’
    • ‘Offering a contract is wrong; to consider a replacement is amiss, too.’
    • ‘That's the most public concession that anything is amiss here, as Chinese media have given scant coverage to the riots.’
    • ‘Over the last couple days though I've been getting signals that something might be amiss.’
    • ‘At this point the store manager, who was taking stock nearby, sensed that there was something amiss at the till and walked over.’
    • ‘I have spent thousands proving things are amiss in this county and I found myself at a cross-roads with nowhere to go.’
    • ‘He phoned the Justice Department - the first alert to anything amiss.’
    • ‘Several more officers examined the picture and, having drawn the conclusion that something was amiss, called the police.’
    • ‘If it finds anything amiss it will correct it within a few seconds.’
    • ‘On the face of it, there does seem to be something amiss here.’
    • ‘If something amiss is detected, the camera alerts a central control.’
    • ‘I felt like myself yet there was something wrong, something amiss, something lacking from the scene.’
    • ‘Students are also being encouraged to seek help or speak out if they see something amiss on or around school grounds.’
    wrong, awry, faulty, out of order, defective, unsatisfactory, incorrect, untoward, adrift, astray, inappropriate, improper, unsuitable
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adverb

  • Wrongly or inappropriately.

    ‘the prime minister may have constructed his cabinet a little amiss’
    • ‘Obviously little would need to go amiss for the financial plan to go awry.’
    • ‘The Fijian way of life is glorified as the kind of life where people look after you if anything goes amiss.’
    • ‘Something has gone amiss with him and that, for England, has been, as it were, the crux.’
    • ‘What goes amiss in the smoker's crusade to defend themselves is the rights of the people who don't want to be subjected to smoke.’

Phrases

  • take something amiss

    • Be offended by something that is said, especially through misinterpreting the intentions behind it.

      ‘don't take this amiss, it's all good-humoured teasing’
      • ‘I wonder if she would take it amiss if I tried to get closer to her.’
      • ‘Nobody there takes it amiss when things suddenly harden or go soft.’
      • ‘Don't take it amiss but I can not understand why line-wrapping is enabled by default.’
      • ‘Then he added in embarrassment, ‘Please don't take it amiss, but above all I lack the detachment desirable between penitent and confessor.’’
      • ‘Faculties often take it amiss when critics appeal over their heads to alumni, trustees or parents.’
      • ‘I pray you won't take it amiss if I offer you a refreshment?’
      • ‘So I am sure that Keith will not take it amiss if I make a few comments (in my usual ‘take no prisoners’ way) about his theories.’
      • ‘However, a company should never say to an examiner, ‘But last week you said…,’ because the examiner will most likely take it amiss.’
      • ‘But since the state stood to benefit far more than any individual politician, no one took his ambition amiss.’
      • ‘Don't take it amiss, but I'm surprised at your simplicity—and not only yours!’
      be offended by, take offence at, be upset by
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  • something would not go amiss

    • The specified thing would be welcome and useful.

      ‘you look as if a good meal wouldn't go amiss’
      • ‘We have high ceilings, so a few Old Masters wouldn't go amiss, and I've quite a hankering for serious sculpture.’
      • ‘I think I'll be happy either way and a little extra vegging time wouldn't go amiss at this point.’
      • ‘Which is something of a two-edged sword, in that, while I wouldn't wish to have a giant crashing down from above, a goose that lays golden eggs would not go amiss in these days of straightened circumstances.’
      • ‘I think a propaganda feed of our point of view would not go amiss though I doubt its popularity or capability.’
      • ‘In addition a little local knowledge would not go amiss, as the car park ‘floats’ on several metres of boggy ground.’
      • ‘A clear indication of just how much further expansion costs are expected to drive this figure would not go amiss.’
      • ‘A little more punch throughout would not go amiss and perhaps some erring on the side of abandon rather than correctness that may come in time.’
      • ‘A new appetizer recipe for mussels would not go amiss.’
      • ‘Perhaps that is yet to come I hope so - as a little more glamour in the area would not come amiss and 1492 certainly aspires to that.’
      • ‘A few trees would not go amiss, to break up the expanses and provide a bit of cover, but trees feature rarely in Japanese architecture, which is a shame as when they do appear, they always look exceptionally fine.’
      be welcome, be appropriate, be useful
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Origin

Middle English: probably from Old Norse á mis ‘so as to miss’, from á ‘on’ + mis (related to miss).

Pronunciation

amiss

/əˈmɪs/