[ur, er]

verb (used without object)

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

1275–1325; Middle English erren < Old French errer < Latin errāre; akin to Gothic airzjan, Old High German irrôn, German irren
Related formserr·a·bil·i·ty, nounerr·a·ble, adjective
Can be confusedair e'er ere err heirer err Ur

Synonyms for err Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for err

Contemporary Examples of err

Historical Examples of err

  • 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?

  • And let us be careful, for I think that the danger will be very serious if we err on this point.

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



British Dictionary definitions for err


verb (intr)

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 for err

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

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper