Murphy's Law


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Mur·phy's Law

 (mûr′fēz)
n.
Any of certain humorous axioms stating that anything that can possibly go wrong, will go wrong.

[After Edward A. Murphy (1918-1990), American engineer.]
Word History: Edward Murphy was an American engineer who designed sensors for measuring the forces involved in crashes. Used in rocket sled experiments in 1941, his sensors failed to function after another person installed them incorrectly. This experience is said to have prompted Murphy to utter the axiom that has since become associated with his name. Murphy may have spoken the axiom, but he did not invent it, because variations of it are attested from the early 1900s.

Murphy's law

n
informal another term for Sod's law
[C20: of uncertain origin]

Mur′phy's Law′


n.
the facetious proposition that if something can go wrong, it will.
[1955–60, Amer.; probably after E.A. Murphy, engineer in U.S. Air Force]

Murphy's Law

An imaginary rule that states “if something can go wrong, it will;” perhaps from an Irish engineer who first formulated it.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Murphy's Law - humorous axiom stating that anything that can go wrong will go wrong
gnome - a short pithy saying expressing a general truth
References in periodicals archive ?
Murphy's Law 2.00 Carlisle A well-known adage, Murphy's Law is the phrase used to mean 'anything that can go wrong, will go wrong'.
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The prince added: "It's Murphy's Law. Everybody always says, 'the day before people saw God knows what'."
The railway had apologised on its website during the steam locomotive shortage - described by visitor services manager David Mee as "a combination of mechanical setbacks all coming together at the same time - the Murphy's Law principle that 'if something can go wrong, it will'."
But then that's proof of the truth of Murphy's Law - if something's going to stop you doing something or go wrong at just the wrong time, it will.
Compton joined Murphy's Law Department in 1988 and was promoted to attorney four years later, followed by a promotion to manager, Law and corporate secretary in 1996.
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