astray


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Related to astray: lead astray, go astray

the best-laid plans go astray

Said when something ends poorly or differently than expected, despite preparations for success. It is an abbreviated version of the full proverb "the best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray." I always thought our marriage was stable and that we'd be together forever. I guess it's true what they say, though, even the best-laid plans go astray. A: "I've been working on this project for six months, and now, right before it's due, they tell me they want something completely different." B: "That's rough. Even the best-laid plans go astray, I suppose."
See also: astray, go, plan

the best-laid schemes go astray

Said when things that are well prepared for or seem certain end poorly or differently from how one intends. It is an abbreviated version of the line, "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley" (go astray), from Robert Burns' poem "To a Mouse," which itself is a play on the proverb "the best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray." I always thought our marriage was stable and that we'd be together forever. I guess it's true what they say, though, even the best-laid schemes go astray. A: "I've been working on this project for six months, and now, right before it's due, they tell me they want something completely different." B: "That's rough. Even the best-laid schemes go astray, I suppose."
See also: astray, go, scheme

the best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray

Said when something ends poorly or differently than expected, despite preparations for success. The phrase is likely an adaptation of a line from 18th-century Scottish poet Robert Burns. I always thought our business would last forever. I guess it's true what they say, though, the best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray. A: "I've been working on this project for six months, and now, right before it's due, they tell me they want something completely different." B: "That's rough. The best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray, I suppose."
See also: and, astray, go, men, mice, of, oft, plan

lead (one) astray

1. To lead one in the wrong direction; to cause one to be lost or in the wrong place. I'm afraid the GPS led us astray. We should have turned right back there. It was only when we saw the waterfall again that we realized our guide had been leading us astray.
2. To misdirect one into error. A few false positives led me astray at first, but I think I have a good idea of the data trends now.
3. To negatively influence one; to influence one to make poor choices. I just hope this new group that my son is hanging out with doesn't lead him astray.
See also: astray, lead

go astray

1. To deviate from what is good or expected. It's not hard to get that professor to go astray and start ranting about current events.
2. To become lost. A: "It seems my coat has gone astray." B: "Hmm, maybe someone picked it up by mistake."
3. To become fraught with error or proceed in a way that will not lead to success or a positive outcome. We finally had to call in a professional after my efforts to fix the boiler went astray. My life goals just kind of went astray for a time in my twenties, but I've gotten back on track.
See also: astray, go

best-laid plans of mice and men oft(en) go astray,

 and best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley.
Prov. Things often go wrong even though you have carefully planned what you are going to do. (The gang aft a-gley version is Scots dialect, and comes from Robert Burns' poem "To a Mouse.") Jill: I reserved a hotel room for us three weeks ago, but now the clerk says he has no record of our reservation. So much for our fun weekend in the city. Jane: Well, these things happen. The best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray. I had all the arrangements made for my party, and then the guest of honor got sick and I had to call the whole thing off. The best-laid schemes of mice and men gang aft a-gley. If a little rain can ruin the best-laid plans of mice and men, think what an earthquake might do!
See also: and, astray, go, men, mice, of, oft, plan

go astray

 
1. Lit. to wander off the road or path. Stick to the path and try not to go astray. I couldn't see the trail and I almost went astray.
2. Fig. [for something] to get lost or misplaced. My glasses have gone astray again. Mary's book went astray or maybe it was stolen.
3. Fig. to turn bad or wander from the way of goodness; to make an error. I'm afraid your son has gone astray and gotten into a bit of trouble. Iwent astray with the computer program at this point.
See also: astray, go

lead someone astray

to direct or guide someone in the wrong direction. I am afraid that this young man has been leading you astray. I think you had better stop seeing him. No one can lead me astray. I know what I am doing.
See also: astray, lead

best-laid plans go astray, the

Also, the best-laid schemes go astray. Even very careful designs or projects do not always succeed. For example, Mary spent all afternoon preparing this elaborate dish but forgot the most important ingredient-oh well, the best-laid plans go astray . This particular turn of phrase comes from Robert Burns's poem "To a Mouse" (1786): "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley [go often astray]." It is so well known that it is often abbreviated to the best-laid plans.
See also: go, plan

go astray

Wander off the right path or subject; also, wander into evil or error. For example, It was hard to follow the lecturer's gist, since he kept going astray, or The gang members led him astray, and he ended up in court. This expression alludes to sheep or other animals that stray from the rest of the flock. Indeed, Handel's oratorio Messiah (1741) has this chorus: "All we like sheep have gone astray, Every one to his own way." [c. 1300]
See also: astray, go

go aˈstray


1 become lost; be stolen: Several letters went astray or were not delivered.We locked up our valuables so they wouldn’t go astray.
2 go in the wrong direction or have the wrong result: Fortunately the gunman’s shots went astray.
See also: astray, go

lead somebody aˈstray

encourage somebody to behave in a silly or criminal way: Small children are easily led astray by older children.He’s a weak character, who’s easily led astray.
See also: astray, lead, somebody
References in periodicals archive ?
"But when we have everybody back fit and available we'll have a decent strong squad and hope a better balance and hopefully a wee bit of luck wouldn't go astray."
He has gone astray and working for a wrong political party, which believes in hatred between the communities.
"Because when he said it he looked directly at him and he looked at us and said 'You want to keep your eye on him, he will lead you astray' and he called him 'cockroach'.
If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?” (Matthew 18:12).
The author confesses that an unease lingers, as though she's "gone astray, stepped off some invisible track [she] was born to follow."
* Gary Barlow says he feels responsible for Frankie Cocozza going astray
Yes, the EU is waiting for us with its arms wide open but only if we are rich tourists, scientists or businessmen and it runs a campaign to lead astray all those who dream of becoming part of the EU.
But it's clear from your report last week that she was never a malicious home-wrecker, just a starstruck girl who let herself be led astray. Mark has always been portrayed as a nice, clean-living sort of guy, but Neva's story reveals a dark and sleazier side.
Kessie, which went astray during the search for Mr Austin in Over Stowey, has been found safe and well.
I should be glad to hear from anyone who can explain how a recorded delivery letter can go astray, and why, and just who is responsible?
They discover the victim had been living a secret life as a drug mule, and was being led astray by local dealer Gerry Craig.
Without a little guidance from knowledgeable sources, new trainers can be led astray. For me, a mixture of online sources, GUN DOG magazine and a local hunting retriever club did the trick.
"Mind Gone Astray" tells the story of a couple faced with schizophrenia of one of them.
How could one of the oldest, most resilient firms on Wall Street go so far astray that it had to be sold at a fire sale price?
Now our Lord's word has come true against us, and we are bound to taste [the punishment]; If we led you astray, we ourselves were astray."