Definition of amiss in English:

amiss

adjective

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

    ‘there was something amiss about his calculations’
    • ‘On the face of it, there does seem to be something amiss here.’
    • ‘Saying he would fight for the truth, he even attended a cabinet meeting chaired by the vice president as if nothing was amiss.’
    • ‘If it finds anything amiss it will correct it within a few seconds.’
    • ‘I felt like myself yet there was something wrong, something amiss, something lacking from the scene.’
    • ‘Several more officers examined the picture and, having drawn the conclusion that something was amiss, called the police.’
    • ‘He phoned the Justice Department - the first alert to anything amiss.’
    • ‘I first noticed something was amiss by the helicopter circling over the Arakawa at about 8pm on Thursday evening.’
    • ‘At this point the store manager, who was taking stock nearby, sensed that there was something amiss at the till and walked over.’
    • ‘No alarm went off, and the officers patrolling the perimeter didn't notice anything amiss.’
    • ‘Students are also being encouraged to seek help or speak out if they see something amiss on or around school grounds.’
    • ‘If something amiss is detected, the camera alerts a central control.’
    • ‘But if something amiss happens in his own team's penalty area, that is usually the moment he was looking the other way.’
    • ‘When it finished and I had a look at my recent files there was clearly something amiss, something I couldn't ignore.’
    • ‘That's the most public concession that anything is amiss here, as Chinese media have given scant coverage to the riots.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I have spent thousands proving things are amiss in this county and I found myself at a cross-roads with nowhere to go.’
    • ‘Over the last couple days though I've been getting signals that something might be amiss.’
    • ‘Whatever was amiss, and something definitely was, this was a most uncharacteristic display.’
    • ‘Offering a contract is wrong; to consider a replacement is amiss, too.’
    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’
      • ‘However, a company should never say to an examiner, ‘But last week you said…,’ because the examiner will most likely take it amiss.’
      • ‘I pray you won't take it amiss if I offer you a refreshment?’
      • ‘Don't take it amiss but I can not understand why line-wrapping is enabled by default.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Don't take it amiss, but I'm surprised at your simplicity—and not only yours!’
      • ‘Then he added in embarrassment, ‘Please don't take it amiss, but above all I lack the detachment desirable between penitent and confessor.’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Faculties often take it amiss when critics appeal over their heads to alumni, trustees or parents.’
      • ‘But since the state stood to benefit far more than any individual politician, no one took his ambition amiss.’
      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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In addition a little local knowledge would not go amiss, as the car park ‘floats’ on several metres of boggy ground.’
      • ‘A new appetizer recipe for mussels would not go amiss.’
      • ‘I think a propaganda feed of our point of view would not go amiss though I doubt its popularity or capability.’
      • ‘We have high ceilings, so a few Old Masters wouldn't go amiss, and I've quite a hankering for serious sculpture.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I think I'll be happy either way and a little extra vegging time wouldn't go amiss at this point.’
      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/