lead astray

lead astray


  • make someone act or think in a wrong or foolish manner.
  • cause a person to move in the wrong direction or give the wrong direction.
  • to encourage someone to engage in bad or illegal things.
  • to cause someone to believe false information.
  • to cause someone to make a mistake.

Examples in Sentences

  1. The interrogators in the case were led astray by false information from one of the witnesses.
  2. He was led astray by his desires.
  3. The police officers were led astray by his false testimony.
  4. The scientist was led astray by fake theories and hypotheses.
  5. She claimed that her marriage failed because she was led astray by her younger friends.
  6. I am afraid that my son will be led astray by older boys.
  7. We were led astray by the charming adverts and reports.
  8. The pedestrian led the out-of-town biker astray.
  9. He was led astray for failing to stick to his moral principles and beliefs.


The term “lead astray” is believed to have been coined in France in the early 14th century. It was nativized from the French word estraier, which means to run loose, wonder about, or drift. The term was mainly used to refer to cattle and horses without a master or people roaming the streets.

Another theory suggests that the idiom was borrowed from Vulgar Latin’s word estragere, a contraction of estravagere. It means to wander outside or to wander from the path of rectitude.

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The Idioms Dictionary explains common English idioms that are popular worldwide, especially in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, and New Zealand.

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