- to go astray in thought or belief; be mistaken; be incorrect.
- to go astray morally; sin: To err is human.
- Archaic. to deviate from the true course, aim, or purpose.
Origin of err
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for err
No one likes it when their sandcastle is knocked over, but his reaction is a bit, err, extreme.Was Baby Jesus A Holy Terror?
December 21, 2014
They tend to err heavily on the side of the government where kidnapping is concerned.Mexican Journalists Speak Out on Reporter Murders
June 17, 2014
In other words, the vast majority of Americans seem to agree with the American Mullahs, err, “hard-liners.”The Myth of the American Mullah
December 14, 2013
Err, yes, of course Newt Gingrich loved the number of debates.Thanks, Newt, But We Should Have Fewer Debates
April 4, 2013
But in the humble opinion of this correspondent, it should err on the side of "too high".
Deeply, however, did she err, and cruelly was she destined to be undeceived.
But I thought it better to err on the side of inclusion than on that of exclusion.Aino Folk-Tales
Basil Hall Chamberlain
Yes, but do not persons often err about good and evil: many who are not good seem to be so, and conversely?The Republic
And let us be careful, for I think that the danger will be very serious if we err on this point.Philebus
For be assured that if I err in my own conduct I do not err intentionally, but from ignorance.Gorgias
- to make a mistake; be incorrect
- to stray from the right course or accepted standards; sin
- to act with bias, esp favourable biasto err on the side of justice
Word Origin and History for err
c.1300, from Old French errer "go astray, lose one's way; make a mistake; transgress," from Latin errare "wander, go astray, be in error," from PIE root *ers- "be in motion, wander around" (cf. Sanskrit arsati "flows;" Old English ierre "angry, straying;" Old Frisian ire "angry;" Old High German irri "angry," irron "astray;" Gothic airziþa "error, deception;" the Germanic words reflecting the notion of anger as a "straying" from normal composure). Related: Erred; erring.