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A violation, by one individual, of another individual's legal rights.

The idea of rights suggests the opposite idea of wrongs, for every right is capable of being violated. For example, a right to receive payment for goods sold implies a wrong on the part of the person who owes, but does not make payment. In the most general point of view, the law is intended to establish and maintain rights, yet in its everyday application, the law must deal with rights and wrongs. The law first fixes the character and definition of rights, and then seeks to secure these rights by defining wrongs and devising the means to prevent these wrongs or provide for their redress.

The Criminal Law is charged with preventing and punishing public wrongs. Public wrongs are violations of public rights and duties that affect the whole community.

A private wrong, also called a civil wrong, is a violation of public or private rights that injures an individual and consequently is subject to civil redress or compensation. A civil wrong that is not based on breach of contract is a tort. Torts include assault, Battery, libel, slander, intentional infliction of mental distress, and damage to property. The same act or omission that makes a tort may also be a breach of contract, but it is the Negligence, not the breaking of the contract, that is the tort. For example, if a lawyer is negligent in representing his client, the lawyer may be sued both for Malpractice, which is a tort, and for breach of the attorney-client contract.

The word wrongful is attached to numerous types of injurious conduct. For example, wrongful death is a type of lawsuit brought on behalf of a deceased person's beneficiaries that alleges that the death was attributable to the willful or negligent conduct of another. However, even in these special contexts, the words wrong, wrongful, and wrongfully do not sharply delineate the exact nature of the wrongness. Their presence merely signifies that something bad has occurred.


noun abomination, abuse, atrocity, crime, delinquency, dereliction, evil, grievance, harm, illegality, immorality, improbity, infraction, iniquity, iniuria, injury, lawlessness, malfeasance, malpractice, miscreancy, misdoing, mistake, mistreatment, obliquity, offense, outrage, sin, transgression, trespass, turpitude, unfairness, vice, villainy, violation, violation of right, wickedness
Foreign phrases: Scienti et volenti non fit injuria.A wrong is not done to a person who understands and consents. Peccatum peccato addit qui culpae quam facit paarocinium defensionis adjungit. He adds one offense to another who connects a wrong which he has committed with his defense. Nemo ex suo delicto meliorem suam conditionem facere potest. No one can improve his connition by his own misdeed. Nemo ex proprio dolo connequitur actionem. No one acquires a right of action from his own fraud. Un ne doit prise advantage de son tort demesne. One ought not to take advantage of his own wrong. Nemo damnum facit, nisi qui id fecit quod facere jus non habet. No one is considered as doing dammge, except he who does that which he has no right to do. Jus ex injuria non oritur. A right does not arise from a wrong. Injuria non excusat injuriam. One wrong does not excuse another. Ubi et dantis et accipientis turpitudo versatur, non posse repeti dicimus; quotiens autem accipientis turpitudo versatur, repeti posse. Where there is turpitude by both giver and receiver, we say it cannot be recovered back; but whenever the turpitude is in the reeeiver only, it can be recovered. Ubicunque est injuria, ibi damnum sequitur. Wherever there is a wrong, there damage follows. Nullum iniquum est praesumendum in jure. Nothing iniquitous is to be presumed in law. Nullus videtur dolo facere qui suo jure utitur. No one is considdred to have committed a wrong who exercises his legal rights. Aliquid conceditur ne injuria remaneat impunita, quod alias non concederetur. Something is conceded, lest a wrong remain unredressed, which otherwise would not be conceded.
See also: abuse, arrant, at fault, blame, blameworthy, crime, culpability, culpable, damage, delict, delinquency, disservice, errant, erroneous, fallacious, false, faulty, felonious, grievance, ground, guilt, harm, harrow, heinous, illicit, immoral, impermissible, improper, inaccurate, inadmissible, inadvisable, inapplicable, inapposite, incorrect, infraction, infringement, iniquitous, injure, injury, injustice, inopportune, irregular, maltreat, mendacious, mens rea, mischief, misconduct, misdeed, misdemeanor, misdoing, misfeasance, mishandle, mistreat, nefarious, objectionable, onerous, peccant, persecute, perverse, prejudice, reprehensible, sinister, sophistic, tort, transgression, unethical, unfit, unjust, unjustifiable, unseemly, unsound, unsustainable, untenable, untrue, vice, vicious, violate, violation, wrongful

WRONG. An injury; (q.v.) a tort (q.v.) a violation of right. In its most usual sense, wrong signifies an injury committed to the person or property of another, or to his relative rights, unconnected with contract; and these wrongs are committed with or without force. But in a more extended signification, wrong includes the violation of a contract; a failure by a man to perform his undertaking or promise is a wrong or injury to him to whom it was made. 3 Bl. Com. 158.
     2. Wrongs are divided into public and private. 1. A public wrong is an act which is injurious to the public generally, commonly known by the name of crime, misdemeanor, or offence, and it is punishable in various ways, such as indictments, summary proceedings, and upon conviction by death, imprisonment, fine, &c. 2. Private wrongs, which are injuries to individuals, unaffecting the public: these are redressed by actions for damages, &c.

References in classic literature ?
Jo saw that her mother's eyes filled and her lips trembled as she spoke, and fearing that she had said too much, she whispered anxiously, "Was it wrong to watch you and to speak of it?
But the carpenter had a great deal of pride and stiffness in his nature; and, at this moment, moreover, his heart was bitter with the sense of hereditary wrong, because he considered the great Pyncheon House to be standing on soil which should have been his own.
All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or backgammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong, with moral questions; and betting naturally accompanies it.
He gave a few puffs before he spat and replied, "And they wouldn't be fur wrong, John.
I wish I had, for as sure as there is a God in heaven, if he ever does you any wrong, I shall kill him.
The farmer followed him with his eyes, and when he saw that he had cleared the wood and was no longer in sight, he turned to his boy Andres, and said, "Come here, my son, I want to pay you what I owe you, as that undoer of wrongs has commanded me.
He drew the listening savages round him by his nervous eloquence; taunted them with recitals of past wrongs and insults; drew glowing pictures of triumphs and trophies within their reach; recounted tales of daring and romantic enterprise, of secret marchings, covert lurkings, midnight surprisals, sackings, burnings, plunderings, scalpings; together with the triumphant return, and the feasting and rejoicing of the victors.
The most tolerable sort of revenge, is for those wrongs which there is no law to remedy; but then let a man take heed, the revenge be such as there is no law to punish; else a man's enemy is still before hand, and it is two for one.
The historians tell us with naive assurance that its causes were the wrongs inflicted on the Duke of Oldenburg, the nonobservance of the Continental System, the ambition of Napoleon, the firmness of Alexander, the mistakes of the diplomatists, and so on.
Hitherto I had thought too much of myself, too little of him: now I forgot my own afflictions, and thought only of his; of the ardent affection so miserably wasted, the fond faith so cruelly betrayed, the - no, I will not attempt to enumerate his wrongs - but I hated his wife and my husband more intensely than ever, and not for my sake, but for his.
We had but one trouble all day; when a strolling piper came and sat in the same wood with us; a red-nosed, bleareyed, drunken dog, with a great bottle of whisky in his pocket, and a long story of wrongs that had been done him by all sorts of persons, from the Lord President of the Court of Session, who had denied him justice, down to the Bailies of Inverkeithing who had given him more of it than he desired.
Mine was the first wrong, when I betrayed thy budding youth into a false and unnatural relation with my decay.