Definition of error
1a : an act or condition of ignorant or imprudent deviation from a code of behaviorb : an act involving an unintentional deviation from truth or accuracy made an error in adding up the billc : an act that through ignorance, deficiency, or accident departs from or fails to achieve what should be done an error in judgment: such as (1) : a defensive misplay other than a wild pitch or passed ball made by a baseball player when normal play would have resulted in an out or prevented an advance by a base runner (2) : the failure of a player (as in tennis) to make a successful return of a ball during playd : a mistake in the proceedings of a court of record in matters of law or of fact
2a : the quality or state of erring the map is in errorb Christian Science : illusion about the nature of reality that is the cause of human suffering : the contradiction of truthc : an instance of false belief
3 : something produced by mistake a typographical error; especially : a postage stamp exhibiting a consistent flaw (such as a wrong color) in its manufacture
4a : the difference between an observed or calculated value and a true value; specifically : variation in measurements, calculations, or observations of a quantity due to mistakes or to uncontrollable factorsb : the amount of deviation from a standard or specification
5 : a deficiency or imperfection in structure or function an error of metabolism
errorlessplay \ˈer-ər-ləs, ˈe-rər-\ adjective
Examples of error in a Sentence
I made an error in my calculations.
They uncovered several errors in his report to the committee.
The paper contains numerous spelling errors.
horrifying cases of hospital error
The shortstop was charged with an error.
Recent Examples of error from the Web
It was carried out by phone, in person, or on-line and had a margin of error of 3 to 5 percentage points.
Our apologies for the error, and thanks to readers Donald and Frederick for pointing it out.
But there are some kinds of polling errors that pollsters can accept, even if the public never will.
Kevin McCune, however, reached on an error by the shortstop.
Shore up defense: No excuse for a Cubs team with so many good fielders to lead the National League in errors with 36 after 46 games.
Starter Yovani Gallardo was adequate for the first five innings, allowing just one run on six hits and using a few timely double plays to work out of jams and overcome a pair of errors in the outfield.
In the ruling a three-judge panel concluded that the lower court did not make an error in failing to give the jury specific instructions.
The error margin is six points among the sample of 351 likely Democratic voters in the Democratic primary for governor, and seven points among the sample of 264 likely Republican primary voters.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'error'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of error
Middle English errour, from Anglo-French, from Latin error, from errare
First Known Use: 13th century
Synonym Discussion of error
ERROR Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of error for English Language Learners
: something that is not correct : a wrong action or statement
: a mistake made by a person who is playing a sport (such as baseball or tennis)
ERROR Defined for Kids
Medical Definition of error
: a deficiency or imperfection in structure or function inborn errors of metabolism
Legal Definition of error
: an act that through ignorance, deficiency, or accident departs from or fails to achieve what should be done procedural errors; especially : a mistake made by a lower court in conducting judicial proceedings or making findings in a case to compel to conclusion that a manifest error has been done — Moses v. Burgin, 445 F.2d 369 (1971) —often used without an article had been error to give the jury special interrogatories — K. A. Cohen; — see also assignment of error, clearly erroneous Editor's note: Generally a party must object to an error at trial in order to raise it as an issue on appeal. clear error : an error made by a judge in his or her findings of fact which is such that it leaves the reviewing court with the firm and definite conviction that a mistake has been made Editor's note: A clear error may or may not warrant reversal. fundamental error : plain error in this entry —used especially in criminal cases harmless error : an error that does not affect a substantial right or change the outcome of a trial and does not warrant reversal or other modification of the lower court's decision on appeal invited error : an error resulting from a party's own request for or encouragement of an action by the court Editor's note: A party may not seek relief based on invited error that he or she has induced. manifest error : an error that is obvious and indisputable and that warrants reversal on appeal plain error : an obvious and prejudicial error that affects the substantial rights of the parties and that results or probably results in a miscarriage of justice Editor's note: Plain error warrants reversal on appeal even in the absence of objection to the error at trial. prejudicial error : an error that affects or presumptively affects the outcome of a trial reversible error : a substantial and prejudicial error warranting reversal on appeal
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