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2017 Word of the Year

err

[ur, er] /ɜr, ɛr/
verb (used without object)
1.
to go astray in thought or belief; be mistaken; be incorrect.
2.
to go astray morally; sin:
To err is human.
3.
Archaic. to deviate from the true course, aim, or purpose.
Origin of err
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English erren < Old French errer < Latin errāre; akin to Gothic airzjan, Old High German irrôn, German irren
Related forms
errability, noun
errable, adjective
Can be confused
air, e'er, ere, err, heir.
er, err, Ur.
Synonyms
2. transgress, lapse.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for err
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • 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 Plato
  • And let us be careful, for I think that the danger will be very serious if we err on this point.

    Philebus Plato
  • For be assured that if I err in my own conduct I do not err intentionally, but from ignorance.

    Gorgias Plato
British Dictionary definitions for err

err

/ɜː/
verb (intransitive)
1.
to make a mistake; be incorrect
2.
to stray from the right course or accepted standards; sin
3.
to act with bias, esp favourable bias: to err on the side of justice
Word Origin
C14: erren to wander, stray, from Old French errer, from Latin errāre
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for err
v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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3
3
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