View synonyms for error


[ er-er ]


  1. a deviation from accuracy or correctness; a mistake, as in action or speech:

    His speech contained several factual errors.

    Synonyms: oversight, slip, blunder

  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.

    Synonyms: misdeed, trespass, transgression, fault

  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.
  8. Philately. a stamp distinguished by an error or errors in design, engraving, selection of inks, or setting up of the printing apparatus. Compare freak 1( def 5 ), variety ( def 7 ).


/ ˈɛrə /


  1. a mistake or inaccuracy, as in action or speech

    a typing error

  2. an incorrect belief or wrong judgment
  3. the condition of deviating from accuracy or correctness, as in belief, action, or speech

    he was in error about the train times

  4. deviation from a moral standard; wrongdoing

    he 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 percentage

    an error of 5%

  6. statistics See type I error type II error

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Derived Forms

  • ˌerror-ˈfree, adjective

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Other Words From

  • error·less adjective
  • error·less·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of error1

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English errour, from Latin errōr-, stem of error, equivalent to err + -or 1

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Word History and Origins

Origin of error1

C13: from Latin, from errāre to err

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Idioms and Phrases

see comedy of errors ; trial and error .

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Synonym Study

See mistake.

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Example Sentences

Exactly how much you’ll need is often a bit of trial and error.

This means they are hard to ace, but also, they make very few errors on their return strokes.

In fact, Drake appears poised to be a seeding error of a different sort.

With the upgrade, the new Coverage reporting greatly expanded the amount of information for site owners, including errors, indexing levels, and urls that were being excluded from indexing.

In 2016, with support from her parents and after a lot of trial and error with designers, Samaira introduced CoderBunnyz, her first board game.

Everyone out there who says, “Charlie Hebdo provoked,” is making the same fundamental error.

There were also crashes not due to either mechanical or human error but to a lack of warning of dangerous conditions.

But as everyone knows, he went on to say—not once but many times—that that was the greatest error of his career by far.

The misidentification has since been corrected, and The Daily Beast regrets the error.

But millions of rules result in perpetual error, and, as a terminal side effect, make leadership and accomplishment illegal.

It is a very common error to consider these deposits as evidence of excessive excretion.

My mother now tells me that she knew of this mistake, an error of the New York paper in copying the item from a Southern journal.

It was a fatal error, for though the Spanish people might despise their King, they were intensely proud of their nationality.

It was an error not to separate borrowing entirely from monetary issues.

Consequently he was able to turn in a clear essay upon the subject, which, upon examination, the king found to be free from error.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




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