Definition of error in English:



  • 1A mistake.

    ‘spelling errors’
    ‘an error of judgement’
    • ‘Any fool can be pedantic and snipe at what they think are minor errors in grammar.’
    • ‘The workman made a spelling error engraving the box and it was never sent.’
    • ‘There were errors of judgment, but the more we are made to pay for them, the less likely they are to happen again.’
    • ‘The report called the error a " serious mistake " and also revealed that the intern was sick himself when he was taking care of the patient.’
    • ‘In a way, Nolan makes a similar error of judgement, mistaking atmospheric darkness for thematic darkness.’
    • ‘This is not a mistake but an error of historic proportions.’
    • ‘This is simultaneously a spelling error and a malapropism.’
    • ‘The message is ready and short, but there are some spelling errors so remember to correct them.’
    • ‘That happens a lot on the web, and sometimes it can be used to cover awful mistakes or errors of judgment.’
    • ‘A minute mistake, an error of judgement, is all that it takes for a ghastly mishap to occur, resulting in death or worse, a life-long disability.’
    • ‘Have you ever worried that people are grousing about the egregious errors of your judgment?’
    • ‘When someone makes a mistake, whether it is a spelling error or an unnecessarily long answer, be kind about it.’
    • ‘Now, maybe you want to put it down as a mistake or an error or an oversight.’
    • ‘Was this a house speciality or a spelling error?’
    • ‘He's tallying up all the dreadful mistakes and errors of judgement that got us to this place.’
    • ‘Judgement errors are bound to exist and bombs falling off target from the air is nothing new.’
    • ‘I'd have found that funnier if it hadn't been about a spelling error.’
    • ‘Thankfully, only one of these five made the common error of mistaking morbidity for profundity.’
    • ‘Yes, of course there's a spelling error in the title!’
    • ‘Just because he made a mistake, an error of judgement made by a bad husband, it doesn't make him a bad politician.’
    mistake, fallacy, misconception, delusion
    inaccuracy, miscalculation, misreckoning
    blunder, fault, flaw, oversight
    misprint, literal, erratum, misinterpretation, misreading
    slip-up, bloomer, boo-boo, howler, boner, fail
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[mass noun]The state or condition of being wrong in conduct or judgement.
      ‘goods dispatched to your branch in error’
      ‘the crash was caused by human error’
      • ‘If the button is clearly labeled, but the employee still pushes the wrong button, that is human error.’
      • ‘However, something, whether by human error or mechanical fault, went awfully wrong as we saw him plummet to his death from the arena roof.’
      • ‘But these systems cannot cope with human error.’
      • ‘The common threads running through most nuclear accidents are unexpected technical conditions and human error.’
      • ‘But I hope that they pause and at least consider that they might be in error, on the wrong side of history.’
      • ‘If bias remains a major source of error over time, then the forecasting system is not improving.’
      • ‘At some point, increasing error causes major information loss because many conformations populate the average noise sphere.’
      • ‘Estimation error is likely to make branch lengths appear even less clocklike than they actually are.’
      • ‘An investigation into the crash showed that the accident was caused by pilot error.’
      • ‘However, a major source of error is determination of concentration.’
      • ‘Since the birefringence of the projection lens is well controlled, there is little wavefront error due to polarization.’
      • ‘A female colleague of mine told me that she called to speak to a friend recently and in error dialled the wrong telephone number.’
      • ‘The third major category of error consists of specimen defects.’
      • ‘Ideally, research on this question should be conducted prospectively to reduce measurement error in reporting of such meaningful experiences.’
      • ‘You've got human error, possibilities for mischief.’
      • ‘So far as the applicants are concerned, the presiding judge committed jurisdictional error.’
      • ‘Now, as a consequent of inadvertent human error, conditions are contrary to preferred expectations.’
      • ‘Lastly, don't discount the possibility of human error when conducting the audit.’
      • ‘It was human error - the command to turn the instrument on was forgotten.’
      • ‘We know about human error, mechanical failure and accidents.’
      wrongly, by mistake, mistakenly, incorrectly, inappropriately, misguidedly
      accidentally, by accident, inadvertently, unintentionally, unwittingly, unknowingly, unconsciously, by chance
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2technical [mass noun]A measure of the estimated difference between the observed or calculated value of a quantity and its true value.
      • ‘We compared the Ka and Ks values computed from the three methods with their corresponding expected values and calculated their error percentages.’
      • ‘Blinded review as a method to measure the true error rate is labor-intensive.’
      • ‘In the mixed model used to assess significance, the observed error among replicate measures was incorporated for each gene individually.’
      • ‘There is a statistically significant difference in the estimating error between estimating at WBS level one and level two.’
      • ‘The within group variance component estimates measurement error, as percentage of the total variance.’
    3. 1.3Law A mistake in matter of law appearing in the proceedings of a court of record.
      ‘the decisions of the appeal committee disclosed no error of law’
      • ‘Is it asserted that there was jurisdictional error in making the orders of 9 March or some other basis of that?’
      • ‘The fact that the error in the order was not adverted to by the learned Lord Justices in the Court of Appeal does not help; it was not a matter of relevance to their decision.’
      • ‘This idea of perception of error of fact reopens the matters in the High Court?’
      • ‘The question to what extent error of a non-jurisdictional fact is a separate ground for judicial review is not settled.’
      • ‘The suit came to the Supreme Court on a writ of error from the District Court of Illinois brought by the plaintiff.’


Middle English: via Old French from Latin error, from errare to stray, err.