typo

[ tahy-poh ]
/ ˈtaɪ poʊ /

noun, plural ty·pos.Informal.

VIDEO FOR TYPO

WATCH NOW: We All Make Typos: What's Your Worst One?

We asked this woman about her worst typo. Her response: OK, so this might be now one of my most favorite stories to tell. Then it was utterly devastating.

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Origin of typo

1890–95; shortened form; see -o

Definition for typo (2 of 3)

typo-

a combining form representing type in compound words: typography, typology.
Compare -type.

Definition for typo (3 of 3)

typo.

typographer.
typographic.
typographical.
typography.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What is a typo?

Typo is short for typographical error—a mistake made when typing something.

The term typically refers to an unintentional error that happens when you accidentally hit the wrong key on a keyboard—the kind of mistake that autocorrect is supposed to catch and automatically fix when you’re typing a document or texting. For example, typing teh when you mean to type the is a common typo.

Typos often result in misspellings, but, technically, not all misspellings are typos. It wouldn’t be quite accurate to call a misspelling a typo if you spelled the word that way on purpose. Still, people often use the word this way, especially when politely pointing out misspellings in things that other people have typed.

The term typographical error can also refer to an error made during the printing process, such as due to a mechanical issue, but this sense of the term is much less commonly used

Example: I should have proofread my proposal because as I was presenting it I noticed a typo right on the title slide.

Where does typo come from?

The first records of the word typo as a short form of typographical error come from the 1890s. The typo- in typographical comes from the Greek týpo(s), meaning “type,” and the graph part is based on a root that refers to writing. The word typography refers to the process of printing with type.

Most of the time, typos are no big deal. They’re common, especially in informal communication like texting, and most of the time the person reading the message will be able to figure out what you meant to say. But typos in official documents can be pretty serious, and there are stories (and probably a few legends) about how legal cases were decided due to a single typo. Edtiors and proofreaders catch and fix typos as part of their job (though some inevitably slip by).

Some modern slang terms are based on typos. The slang word pwn probably originated from people mistakenly typing the letter p instead of the letter o in own.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to typo?

  • typos (plural)

What are some synonyms for typo?

What are some words that share a root or word element with typo

What are some words that often get used in discussing typo?

 

How is typo used in real life?

Typos happen when you text too fast or forget to proofread your work. The word itself is informal, but most people use typo instead of typographical error even in professional settings.

 

 

Try using typo!

Is typo used correctly in the following sentence?

Thankfully we caught the typo before the ad was published—otherwise people would have thought that we were having a garbage sale.

Example sentences from the Web for typo

British Dictionary definitions for typo (1 of 2)

typo
/ (ˈtaɪpəʊ) /

noun plural -pos

informal a typographical errorAlso called (Brit): literal

British Dictionary definitions for typo (2 of 2)

typo.

typog.


abbreviation for

variants of typ.
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