Is there a word for "something was done which shouldn't have been done" in the English language?

For example, let's say a soldier fires a shot even though his commander ordered a cease fire, you could say: "The soldier erroneously/fallaciously fired a shot, despite the order of his superior officer."

Is there a better word for erroneously/fallaciously in this context? Something that places more emphasis on the fact that it was an action that was performed by the subject which [under general consensus] was explicitly advised against or even prohibited to be performed by the subject.

Erroneously/fallaciously places more emphasis on that it was "wrong", but I'm looking for something else here...

  • 1
    Because it's an adverb, it could be anything. The soldier wrongly fired a shot, or wildly, wantonly, pig-headedly... You say you're looking for something else, but what? Please see the checklist in the tag info for help with this sort of question.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 18:52
  • Petrus, that looks more a Question for your thesaurus, dictionary or search engine. Start with synonyms for erroneous or fallacious. An easy fit for your soldier firing against orders would be wrongly, covering both the accidental or mistaken ideas in erroneously/fallaciously and the possibility of criminal or malicious intent. Speaking of … the action being performed by the subject… gets complex enough to obscure the issue, as does emphasising the action being against explicit advise, or prohibited. Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 18:53
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    We idiomatically use on purpose in situations that someone willfully committed a wrong, as opposed to an accidental occurrence. So, you may be wanting willfully, purposely, deliberately, or something of that ilk.
    – jxh
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 19:03
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    If it wasn't intentional, you could say inadvertently.
    – Barmar
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 19:47
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    I'm not sure there's a word for this that doesn't include some suggestion of whether or not it was deliberate. I think we would just leave out the adverb there, as the fact that it's contrary to orders is stated in the clause that begins with "despite".
    – Barmar
    Commented Nov 13, 2017 at 15:54

1 Answer 1


Okay, I'll throw my hat into the ring with inexplicably.

The soldier inexplicably fired a shot, despite the order of his superior officer.

This phrasing leaves the issue of right and wrong open, since the reasons for the action are unexplained.

In a way that cannot be explained or accounted for.
• ‘many crucial documents had inexplicably disappeared
• ‘somehow, inexplicably, I was back where I had begun
Oxford Living Dictionaries

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