error bar


Definition of error bar

: the estimated uncertainty in experimental data

Examples of error bar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The category estimates in the methane emissions ledger have large enough error bars on them that bumping some up and others down could accommodate this revision. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Human activities responsible for more methane emissions than thought," 20 Feb. 2020 Every time the White House releases a COVID-19 model, we will be tempted to drown ourselves in endless discussions about the error bars, the clarity around the parameters, the wide range of outcomes, and the applicability of the underlying data. Zeynep Tufekci, The Atlantic, "Don’t Believe the COVID-19 Models," 2 Apr. 2020 Although there are huge uncertainties as to the precise impacts of climate change, with large error bars around temperature forecasts, enough is known to say that global warming represents one of the main threats to Africa’s prosperity. The Economist, "Food and climate African countries must get smarter with their agriculture," 26 Mar. 2020 And while the error bars would be large, the method can at least say something interesting. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "A pre-hurricane climate change analysis gets major revision after the storm," 2 Jan. 2020 While the averages obviously tended to be similar, the error bars on a set of 10 are much wider. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "A pre-hurricane climate change analysis gets major revision after the storm," 2 Jan. 2020 For example, even though error bars seem exact, people often misunderstand them. Jessica Hullman, Scientific American, "How to Get Better at Embracing Unknowns," 3 Sep. 2019 His team dated that site to about 16,000 years ago by optical luminescence, a method with larger error bars than radiocarbon dating. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "First people in the Americas came by sea, ancient tools unearthed by Idaho river suggest," 29 Aug. 2019 The new measurements come with error bars in the neighborhood of just ±5,000 years for 780,000-year-old lavas. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "The last magnetic pole flip saw 22,000 years of weirdness," 11 Aug. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of error bar

1968, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about error bar

Time Traveler for error bar

Time Traveler

The first known use of error bar was in 1968

See more words from the same year

Statistics for error bar

Cite this Entry

“Error bar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on error bar

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with error bar

Comments on error bar

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!