Definition of error in English:



  • 1A mistake.

    ‘spelling errors’
    ‘an error of judgment’
    • ‘This is not a mistake but an error of historic proportions.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The message is ready and short, but there are some spelling errors so remember to correct them.’
    • ‘Thankfully, only one of these five made the common error of mistaking morbidity for profundity.’
    • ‘The workman made a spelling error engraving the box and it was never sent.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Any fool can be pedantic and snipe at what they think are minor errors in grammar.’
    • ‘Have you ever worried that people are grousing about the egregious errors of your 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.’
    • ‘I'd have found that funnier if it hadn't been about a spelling error.’
    • ‘This is simultaneously a spelling error and a malapropism.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘That happens a lot on the web, and sometimes it can be used to cover awful mistakes or errors of judgment.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In a way, Nolan makes a similar error of judgement, mistaking atmospheric darkness for thematic darkness.’
    • ‘There were errors of judgment, but the more we are made to pay for them, the less likely they are to happen again.’
    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 The state or condition of being wrong in conduct or judgment.
      ‘the money had been paid in error’
      ‘the crash was caused by human error’
      • ‘A female colleague of mine told me that she called to speak to a friend recently and in error dialled the wrong telephone number.’
      • ‘If bias remains a major source of error over time, then the forecasting system is not improving.’
      • ‘The common threads running through most nuclear accidents are unexpected technical conditions and human error.’
      • ‘At some point, increasing error causes major information loss because many conformations populate the average noise sphere.’
      • ‘However, a major source of error is determination of concentration.’
      • ‘But I hope that they pause and at least consider that they might be in error, on the wrong side of history.’
      • ‘We know about human error, mechanical failure and accidents.’
      • ‘It was human error - the command to turn the instrument on was forgotten.’
      • ‘Ideally, research on this question should be conducted prospectively to reduce measurement error in reporting of such meaningful experiences.’
      • ‘An investigation into the crash showed that the accident was caused by pilot error.’
      • ‘You've got human error, possibilities for mischief.’
      • ‘Now, as a consequent of inadvertent human error, conditions are contrary to preferred expectations.’
      • ‘However, something, whether by human error or mechanical fault, went awfully wrong as we saw him plummet to his death from the arena roof.’
      • ‘Estimation error is likely to make branch lengths appear even less clocklike than they actually are.’
      • ‘Lastly, don't discount the possibility of human error when conducting the audit.’
      • ‘Since the birefringence of the projection lens is well controlled, there is little wavefront error due to polarization.’
      • ‘The third major category of error consists of specimen defects.’
      • ‘But these systems cannot cope with human error.’
      • ‘If the button is clearly labeled, but the employee still pushes the wrong button, that is human error.’
      • ‘So far as the applicants are concerned, the presiding judge committed jurisdictional error.’
      wrongly, by mistake, mistakenly, incorrectly, inappropriately, misguidedly
      accidentally, by accident, inadvertently, unintentionally, unwittingly, unknowingly, unconsciously, by chance
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Baseball A misplay by a fielder that allows a batter to reach base or a runner to advance.
      • ‘Taft Wright reached on an error by our center fielder Roy Weatherly, and I loaded the bases with two walks.’
      • ‘How often does Ichiro Suzuki reach base on an error as opposed to the average batter?’
      • ‘Although determining a base hit versus an error routinely raises controversy and discussion, there is much more involved.’
      • ‘But a Cardinals batter reached on an error, and Curt Flood followed with a two-run home run to end the bid.’
      • ‘Don Wert then reached base on an infield error and the lead run scored.’
    3. 1.3technical A measure of the estimated difference between the observed or calculated value of a quantity and its true value.
      • ‘The within group variance component estimates measurement error, as percentage of the total variance.’
      • ‘There is a statistically significant difference in the estimating error between estimating at WBS level one and level two.’
      • ‘Blinded review as a method to measure the true error rate is labor-intensive.’
      • ‘We compared the Ka and Ks values computed from the three methods with their corresponding expected values and calculated their error percentages.’
      • ‘In the mixed model used to assess significance, the observed error among replicate measures was incorporated for each gene individually.’
    4. 1.4Law A mistake of fact or of law in a court's opinion, judgment or order.
      ‘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.’
      • ‘The suit came to the Supreme Court on a writ of error from the District Court of Illinois brought by the plaintiff.’
      • ‘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.’


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