an unwise or blundering act.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
an unwise action
a stumble; slip
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
A stumble or blunder, as in Making a down payment without securing a mortgage was clearly a false step. This term transfers physical stumbling or tripping to other enterprises. [c. 1700]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.