typographical error


noun

an error in printed or typewritten matter resulting from striking the improper key of a keyboard, from mechanical failure, or the like.

QUIZZES

CAN YOU GUESS THESE WORDS FROM AROUND THE US?

American English is not always as it appears to be ... get to know regional words in this quiz!
Question 1 of 10
A bet is synonymous with a wager, but what does it mean in New York?

Words nearby typographical error

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What is a typographical error?

A typographical error is a mistake made when typing something. Typographical errors are very commonly called typos for short.

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 typographical error.

Typographical errors often result in misspellings, but, technically, not all misspellings are typos. It wouldn’t be quite accurate to call a misspelling a typographical error 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 typographical error right on the title slide.

Where does typographical error come from?

The term typographical error has been used since at least the early 1800s, and it has been shortened as typo since at least 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, typographical errors 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 typographical errors 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 typographical errors as part of their job (though some inevitably slip by).

Some modern slang terms are based on typographical errors. 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 synonyms for typographical error?

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

What are some words that often get used in discussing typographical error?

How is typographical error used in real life?

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

 

 

Try using typographical error!

Is typographical error used correctly in the following sentence?

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