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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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
"Often, it's just really basic things that technicians are getting wrong: either they're tattooing them too close together or not on the brow bone."
Lewis Toshney 3 Sent packing for third goal after getting wrong side of his man to concede a penalty.
Bad handwriting of doctors, misread by pharmacists, used to result in patients getting wrong medicines, he said.
Histon had the chance to reduce the deficit in the 37th minute when referee Adrian Quelch adjudged Curran to have handled in the box - a decision for which he later apologised to Young for getting wrong - but Lewis Stevenson's penalty was saved by John Danby.
"I don't think there is a downer on Goffs as such and our feedback would tell us that we are getting more right than we are getting wrong. That's not to be complacent.
Were you not causing losses to Government of India and gained that to the private people and thirdly that, you were aware that things were getting wrong and you were aware because it was your Secretary, who was writing you a letter on November 22, 2007 that don't do like that, now there is no answer for this.
But on the issue of players being sent off, it's not just the straight red cards referees are getting wrong, as I think they did in the case of Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Philipp Degen and Carragher.
After Wolves had squandered a good position by allowing Brown to head behind Kightly's diagonal ball, the visitors almost scored from the resultant Kightly corner when Berra header over from close-in after getting wrong side of Brown.
-- Who can forget when he told Stewart he was getting wrong information because he was relying too much on....The New York Times.
If that's areas you're getting wrong every week or things that keep getting flagged up you've got to work on them.