wrong,n. Breach of one’s legal duty; violation of another’s legal right. [Cases: Torts  1. C.J.S.

Torts §§ 2–7.] — wrong,vb.

“A wrong may be described, in the largest sense, as anything done or omitted contrary to legal duty, considered in so far as it gives rise to liability.” Frederick Pollock, A First Book of Jurisprudence 68 (1896).

“A wrong is simply a wrong act — an act contrary to the rule of right and justice. A synonym of it is injury, in its true and primary sense of injuria (that which is contrary to jus) ….” John Salmond, Jurisprudence 227 (Glanville L. Williams ed., 10th ed. 1947).

civil wrong.A violation of noncriminal law, such as a tort, a breach of contract or trust, a breach of statutory duty, or a defect in performing a public duty; the breach of a legal duty treated as the subject matter of a civil proceeding. Cf. CRIME. continuing wrong.An ongoing wrong that is capable of being corrected by specific

enforcement. • An example is the nonpayment of a debt.


intentional wrong.A wrong in which the mens rea amounts to intention, purpose, or design. — Also termed willful wrong.

legal wrong.An act that is a violation of the law; an act authoritatively prohibited by a rule of

law. moral wrong.An act that is contrary to the rule of natural justice. — Also termed natural


personal wrong.An invasion of a personal right. positive wrong.A wrongful act willfully committed.

private wrong.An offense committed against a private person and dealt with at the instance of

the person injured.

public wrong.An offense committed against the state or the community at large, and dealt with in a proceeding to which the state is itself a party. • Not all public wrongs are crimes. For example, a person that breaches a contract with the government commits a public wrong, but the offense is a civil one, not a criminal one.

real wrong.An injury to the freehold.

transitory wrong.A wrong that, once committed, belongs to the irrevocable past. • An

example is defamation.

willful wrong.See intentional wrong.

wrong of negligence.A wrong in which the mens rea is a form of mere carelessness, as

opposed to wrongful intent.

wrong of strict liability.A wrong in which a mens rea is not required because neither wrongful

intent nor culpable negligence is a necessary condition of responsibility.
[Blacks Law 8th]