Definition of err
1 archaic : stray
2a : to make a mistake erred in his calculations erred on the side of cautionb : to violate an accepted standard of conduct
Examples of err in a Sentence
I may have erred in my calculations.
The court erred in refusing to allow bail.
Recent Examples of err from the Web
While some folks manage to escape the warmer months relatively unscathed — err, unbitten — others aren't quite so lucky.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held that Judge Richard L. Young in the Southern District had erred in denying the class certifications and sent it back to the lower court.
Peters allowed Everette's case to be reopened at the direction of the Court of Special Appeals, which ruled in March that another lower court judge had erred in rejecting Gioia and Enzinna's joint motion to revisit Everette's sentencing.
The 10-year yield ended last week at 2.15 percent, after touching the lowest levels of 2017 as weaker-than-forecast inflation data stoked speculation that the Fed was erring with its tightening plans.
That signaled to some that the court might have thought the panel erred in its interpretation and again opened the door for the court to review the issue of legislative prayer.
When in doubt, both doctors and patients tend to err on the side of optimism, assuming that a treatment will work.
Anderson says Klausner erred in treating that misconduct with equal weight as the Fogerty factors, a set of standards that were established for evaluating fee awards in copyright cases in a 1994 U.S. Supreme Court case involving singer John Fogerty.
In the end, though, McLean said there was no reason to believe the Planning and Zoning Commission erred in its approval of the project.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'err'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Is it human to err?
Many people are familiar with the word err from encountering it in the epigram “to err is human; to forgive, divine.” This phrase is found in Alexander Pope’s An Essay on Criticism, from 1711. Earlier expressions of the same sentiment exist, as in Thomas Jones’ 1678 book, Of the Heart, and its Right Soveraign, which contains the line “to err, is human, to recover, is Angelical; to persevere is Diabolical.”
Err is also often found in the phrase err on the side of caution, to suggest that being overly cautious is better than not being cautious enough.
Err stems from the Latin word errare, meaning “to stray, wander,” and it retained that meaning when it first entered English. We find the same Latin ancestor at the root of the words error, erratic, and erroneous.
Origin and Etymology of err
Middle English, from Anglo-French errer, from Latin errare to wander, err; akin to Old English ierre wandering, perverse, Goth airzeis deceived
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
ERR Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of err for English Language Learners
: to make a mistake
ERR Defined for Kids
Definition of err for Students
: to make a mistake
Legal Definition of err
: to make an error the court erred in denying the motion
Seen and Heard
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