See more synonyms for error on
  1. a deviation from accuracy or correctness; a mistake, as in action or speech: His speech contained several factual errors.
  2. belief in something untrue; the holding of mistaken opinions.
  3. the condition of believing what is not true: in error about the date.
  4. a moral offense; wrongdoing; sin.
  5. Baseball. a misplay that enables a base runner to reach base safely or advance a base, or a batter to have a turn at bat prolonged, as the dropping of a ball batted in the air, the fumbling of a batted or thrown ball, or the throwing of a wild ball, but not including a passed ball or wild pitch.
  6. Mathematics. the difference between the observed or approximately determined value and the true value of a quantity.
  7. Law.
    1. a mistake in a matter of fact or law in a case tried in a court of record.
    2. writ of error.
  8. Philately. a stamp distinguished by an error or errors in design, engraving, selection of inks, or setting up of the printing apparatus.Compare freak1(def 5), variety(def 8).

Origin of error

1250–1300; Middle English errour < Latin errōr- (stem of error), equivalent to err- err + -or -or1
Related formser·ror·less, adjectiveer·ror·less·ly, adverb

Synonyms for error

See more synonyms for on
1. blunder, slip, oversight. See mistake. 4. fault, transgression, trespass, misdeed. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for error

Contemporary Examples of error

Historical Examples of error

  • Did all the error and sorrow of her life pass distinctly before her?


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • I fear you may be led unwittingly into error by your associates.

    Life in London

    Edwin Hodder

  • Error in speculative doctrine not impious - nor knowledge pious.

  • It is natural to goodness and innocence, but not the less is the error a disastrous one.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • There was nothing in her behaviour to indicate a consciousness of error from her sphere.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

British Dictionary definitions for error


  1. a mistake or inaccuracy, as in action or speecha typing error
  2. an incorrect belief or wrong judgment
  3. the condition of deviating from accuracy or correctness, as in belief, action, or speechhe was in error about the train times
  4. deviation from a moral standard; wrongdoinghe saw the error of his ways
  5. maths statistics a measure of the difference between some quantity and an approximation to or estimate of it, often expressed as a percentagean error of 5%
  6. statistics See type I error, type II error
Derived Formserror-free, adjective

Word Origin for error

C13: from Latin, from errāre to err
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 error

also, through 18c., errour, c.1300, from Old French error "mistake, flaw, defect, heresy," from Latin errorem (nominative error) "a wandering, straying, mistake," from errare "to wander" (see err).

Words for "error" in most Indo-European languages originally meant "wander, go astray" (but cf. Irish dearmad "error," from dermat "a forgetting").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

error in Medicine


  1. A defect or insufficiency in structure or function.
  2. An act, assertion, or decision, especially one made in testing a hypothesis, that unintentionally deviates from what is correct, right, or true.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with error


see comedy of errors; trial and error.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.