er·​ro·​ne·​ous | \ i-ˈrō-nē-əs How to pronounce erroneous (audio) , e-\

Definition of erroneous

1 : containing or characterized by error : mistaken erroneous assumptions gave an erroneous impression
2 archaic : wandering

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Other Words from erroneous

erroneously adverb
erroneousness noun

How to Define Erroneous

Erroneous basically means "containing errors", and, since most of us are constantly suffering from mistaken notions, the word is often used in front of words such as "assumption" and "idea". It's also used to describe the kind of mistaken information that can lead to erroneous theories, erroneous conclusions, and erroneous decisions.

Examples of erroneous in a Sentence

When you're done, the programs scour your return for potential problems and erroneous data and let you correct them. Then, poof! Either print out your 1040 and related documents or follow the software prompts to file electronically. — Kathy Yakal, PC Magazine, 9 Mar. 1999 Here we come face-to-face with the uncompromising rules of golf as Mr. Dobereiner recounts how Roberto de Vincenzo lost the 1968 Masters Tournament by a single stroke because he signed an erroneous scorecard. — Robert R. Harris, New York Times Book Review, 21 Oct. 1984 To say truth, nothing is more erroneous than the common observation, that men who are ill-natured and quarrelsome when they are drunk, are very worthy persons when they are sober: for drink, in reality, doth not reverse nature, or create passions in men which did not exist in them before. — Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, 1749 a news article about the new virus that was filled with much erroneous information
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Recent Examples on the Web

The government sued in November, claiming erroneous refunds were issued for the 2006, 2007 and 2008 tax years because Discovery claimed unpermitted exclusions of extraterritorial income. Ashley Cullins, The Hollywood Reporter, "Hollywood Docket: 'Baby Driver' Settlement; 'Inside Out' Ruling; TMNT Trademark Fight," 14 Feb. 2018 The statements marked a week of fiction in which Trump also made erroneous claims about the California wildfires and the Russia investigation and falsely declared that his tariffs on foreign goods will help erase $21 trillion in national debt. Christopher Rugaber, The Seattle Times, "Fact-checking Trump’s week of economic and other fictions," 13 Aug. 2018 But prosecutors have said Vance’s ruling was erroneous and would set bad legal precedents regarding the strength of evidence needed to overcome time limits on appeals. Kevin Mcgill, The Seattle Times, "Free after 36 years, he won’t face prosecution in 1980 death," 20 Nov. 2018 But the Justice Department called the decision erroneous in its brief filed Monday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "DOJ Says Judge Ignored ‘Economics, Common Sense’ in Allowing AT&T-Time Warner Deal," 6 Aug. 2018 Compared to the hour Facebook gives you to delete an erroneous WhatsApp message, 10 minutes doesn’t give you too much time to correct yourself. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Facebook’s unsend feature will give you 10 minutes to delete a message," 7 Nov. 2018 Officials say the erroneous message was sent during shift change at the state Emergency Management Agency, when someone doing a routine test hit the live alert button. Drew Broach,, "Hawaii governor couldn't cancel missile alert because he didn't know his Twitter password: report," 23 Jan. 2018 Several prominent reporters shared the inaccurate information and the erroneous assumption was still being circulated by some media members hours after Singer deleted the image. Brian Flood, Fox News, "Sarah Sanders says press 'out of control' for confusing Russian spy, White House staffer," 18 July 2018 As The Atlantic previously reported, doctored videos and photos and erroneous information — including political propaganda — have been spreading at an alarming rate among India’s users. Emma Sarran Webster, Teen Vogue, "WhatsApp Addresses the Deadly Fake News Problem in India," 25 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'erroneous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of erroneous

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for erroneous

Middle English, from Latin erroneus, from erron-, erro wanderer, from errare — see err

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Dictionary Entries near erroneous



Er Rif


err on the side of


error bar

Statistics for erroneous

Last Updated

13 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for erroneous

The first known use of erroneous was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for erroneous



English Language Learners Definition of erroneous

formal : not correct


er·​ro·​ne·​ous | \ i-ˈrō-nē-əs How to pronounce erroneous (audio) \

Kids Definition of erroneous


er·​ro·​ne·​ous | \ i-ˈrō-nē-əs, e- How to pronounce erroneous (audio) \

Legal Definition of erroneous

: containing or characterized by error — see also clearly erroneous

Other Words from erroneous

erroneously adverb
erroneousness noun

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Comments on erroneous

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


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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