error

noun
er·​ror | \ ˈer-ər How to pronounce error (audio) , ˈe-rər\

Definition of error

1a : an act or condition of ignorant or imprudent deviation from a code of behavior
b : an act involving an unintentional deviation from truth or accuracy made an error in adding up the bill
c : 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 play
d : 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 error
b Christian Science : illusion about the nature of reality that is the cause of human suffering : the contradiction of truth
c : 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 factors
b : the amount of deviation from a standard or specification
5 : a deficiency or imperfection in structure or function an error of metabolism

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Other Words from error

errorless \ ˈer-​ər-​ləs How to pronounce errorless (audio) , ˈe-​rər-​ \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for error

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

error, mistake, and blunder mean an act or statement that is not right or true or proper. error is used for failure to follow a model correctly. There was an error in the addition. mistake is used when someone misunderstands something or does not intend to do wrong. I took someone else's coat by mistake. blunder is used for a stupid, careless, or thoughtless mistake. The actors made several blunders during the play.

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Scott Clement, Washington Post, "Most Americans say no statehood for the District of Columbia, poll shows," 15 July 2019 Former Vice President Joe Biden leads the president by 9 points among registered voters, 51 percent to 42 percent — outside of the poll’s margin of error of plus-minus 3.5 percentage points. NBC News, "Trump trails Biden, Warren and Sanders in new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll," 14 July 2019 Conducted June 28-30 among a sample of 1,613 respondents, the poll has a margin of error of 3 percent. Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star, "Donors love Pete Buttigieg. Voters aren't sure.," 9 July 2019 With 701 South Carolina Democratic primary voters surveyed between July 7-10, there is a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY, "Harris double downs on debate confrontation as Biden maintains support from black voters," 4 July 2019 That poll surveyed 554 respondents and had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus five percentage points. Matt Stevens, New York Times, "Kamala Harris Surges in 3 Polls After Strong Debate Performance," 2 July 2019 The survey based on 1,200 interviews had a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points. Washington Post, "Venezuela sources: Talks to break deadlock set to resume," 30 June 2019 Giants starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz enjoyed a solid night, but the D’backs broke a scoreless tie in the seventh against reliever Sam Dyson after capitalizing on a stunning error by Giants center fielder Kevin Pillar. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Sloppy defense costs Giants, Vogt’s late home run not enough to carry offense," 29 June 2019 The online survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1%. USA TODAY, "Troll trail, coal train derailment, geyser record: News from around our 50 states," 27 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of error

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for error

Middle English errour, from Anglo-French, from Latin error, from errare

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More Definitions for error

error

noun

English Language Learners Definition of error

: 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

noun
er·​ror | \ ˈer-ər How to pronounce error (audio) \

Kids Definition of error

: a failure to be correct or accurate : mistake He made an error in spelling.

error

noun
er·​ror | \ ˈer-ər How to pronounce error (audio) \

Medical Definition of error

: a deficiency or imperfection in structure or function inborn errors of metabolism

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error

noun
er·​ror

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

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

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

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

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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More from Merriam-Webster on error

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with error

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for error

Spanish Central: Translation of error

Nglish: Translation of error for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of error for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about error

Comments on error

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