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verb mis·take \mə-ˈstāk\

Simple Definition of mistake

  • : to understand (something or someone) incorrectly

  • : to make a wrong judgment about (something)

  • : to identify (someone or something) incorrectly

Full Definition of mistake

mis·took play \-ˈstu̇k\ mis·tak·en play \-ˈstā-kən\ mis·tak·ing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to blunder in the choice of <mistook her way in the dark>

  3. 2 a :  to misunderstand the meaning or intention of :  misinterpret <don't mistake me, I mean exactly what I said> b :  to make a wrong judgment of the character or ability of

  4. 3 :  to identify wrongly :  confuse with another <I mistook him for his brother>

  5. intransitive verb
  6. :  to be wrong <you mistook when you thought I laughed at you — Thomas Hardy>

mis·tak·en·ly adverb
mis·tak·er noun

Examples of mistake

  1. <the auctioneer mistook my nod for a bid, and I ended up buying a painting I don't even like>

  2. <you seriously mistake me if you think I scare so easily>

Origin of mistake

Middle English

First Known Use: 14th century



noun mis·take

Simple Definition of mistake

  • : something that is not correct : a wrong action, statement, or judgment

Full Definition of mistake

  1. 1 :  a wrong judgment :  misunderstanding

  2. 2 :  a wrong action or statement proceeding from faulty judgment, inadequate knowledge, or inattention

Examples of mistake

  1. It would be a mistake to assume that we can rely on their help.

  2. There must be some mistake.

  3. The manuscript contains numerous spelling mistakes.

  4. There's a mistake in the schedule.

  5. When does the movie start? At 8:00. No, wait—my mistake—it starts at 8:30.


First Known Use of mistake


Synonym Discussion of mistake

error, mistake, blunder, slip, lapse mean a departure from what is true, right, or proper. error suggests the existence of a standard or guide and a straying from the right course through failure to make effective use of this <procedural errors>. mistake implies misconception or inadvertence and usually expresses less criticism than error <dialed the wrong number by mistake>. blunder regularly imputes stupidity or ignorance as a cause and connotes some degree of blame <diplomatic blunders>. slip stresses inadvertence or accident and applies especially to trivial but embarrassing mistakes <a slip of the tongue>. lapse stresses forgetfulness, weakness, or inattention as a cause <a lapse in judgment>.

MISTAKEN Defined for Kids


adjective mis·tak·en \mə-ˈstā-kən\

Definition of mistaken

  1. 1 :  being in error :  judging wrongly <We were mistaken about the time.>

  2. 2 :  1wrong 2, incorrect <a mistaken idea>

mis·tak·en·ly adverb

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up mistake? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 12, 2016

of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

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