Definition of amiss in English:

amiss

adjective

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

    ‘there was something amiss about his calculations’
    • ‘I first noticed something was amiss by the helicopter circling over the Arakawa at about 8pm on Thursday evening.’
    • ‘I have spent thousands proving things are amiss in this county and I found myself at a cross-roads with nowhere to go.’
    • ‘Whatever was amiss, and something definitely was, this was a most uncharacteristic display.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Several more officers examined the picture and, having drawn the conclusion that something was amiss, called the police.’
    • ‘I felt like myself yet there was something wrong, something amiss, something lacking from the scene.’
    • ‘Michael arrived at the Wall to find no sign that anything was wrong or amiss.’
    • ‘No alarm went off, and the officers patrolling the perimeter didn't notice anything amiss.’
    • ‘If something amiss is detected, the camera alerts a central control.’
    • ‘If it finds anything amiss it will correct it within a few seconds.’
    • ‘Over the last couple days though I've been getting signals that something might be amiss.’
    • ‘But if something amiss happens in his own team's penalty area, that is usually the moment he was looking the other way.’
    • ‘That's the most public concession that anything is amiss here, as Chinese media have given scant coverage to the riots.’
    • ‘On the face of it, there does seem to be something amiss here.’
    • ‘Why would he have had to do so unless he detected something amiss?’
    • ‘Students are also being encouraged to seek help or speak out if they see something amiss on or around school grounds.’
    • ‘When it finished and I had a look at my recent files there was clearly something amiss, something I couldn't ignore.’
    • ‘He phoned the Justice Department - the first alert to anything amiss.’
    • ‘At this point the store manager, who was taking stock nearby, sensed that there was something amiss at the till and walked over.’
    wrong, awry, faulty, out of order, defective, unsatisfactory, incorrect, untoward, adrift, astray, inappropriate, improper, unsuitable
    View synonyms

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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Fijian way of life is glorified as the kind of life where people look after you if anything goes amiss.’

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’
      • ‘But since the state stood to benefit far more than any individual politician, no one took his ambition amiss.’
      • ‘However, a company should never say to an examiner, ‘But last week you said…,’ because the examiner will most likely take it amiss.’
      • ‘Nobody there takes it amiss when things suddenly harden or go soft.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I wonder if she would take it amiss if I tried to get closer to her.’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘Don't take it amiss, but I'm surprised at your simplicity—and not only yours!’
      • ‘Faculties often take it amiss when critics appeal over their heads to alumni, trustees or parents.’
      be offended by, take offence at, be upset by
      View synonyms
  • something would not go (or come) amiss

    • The specified thing would be welcome and useful.

      ‘you look as if a good meal wouldn't 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 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 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I think I'll be happy either way and a little extra vegging time wouldn't go amiss at this point.’
      • ‘We have high ceilings, so a few Old Masters wouldn't go amiss, and I've quite a hankering for serious sculpture.’
      be welcome, be appropriate, be useful
      View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation

amiss

/əˈmɪs/