Synonyms & Antonyms of mistake

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 a wrong judgment
  • they made a mistake when they thought the young pitcher was ready to be called up to the major leagues

Synonyms for mistake

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2 an unintentional departure from truth or accuracy
  • made a mistake on the exam that almost cost her a passing grade

Synonyms for mistake

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Synonyms & Antonyms of mistake (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to fail to understand the true or actual meaning of
  • the auctioneer mistook my nod for a bid, and I ended up buying a painting I don't even like

Synonyms for mistake

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2 to make an incorrect judgment regarding
  • you seriously mistake me if you think I scare so easily

Synonyms for mistake

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3 to fail to differentiate (a thing) from something similar or related
  • she mistook physical attraction for love

Synonyms for mistake

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Antonyms for mistake

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Frequently Asked Questions About mistake

How does the noun mistake differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of mistake are blunder, error, lapse, and slip. While all these words mean "a departure from what is true, right, or proper," mistake implies misconception or inadvertence and usually expresses less criticism than error.

dialed the wrong number by mistake

Where would blunder be a reasonable alternative to mistake?

The words blunder and mistake can be used in similar contexts, but blunder regularly imputes stupidity or ignorance as a cause and connotes some degree of blame.

diplomatic blunders

When is it sensible to use error instead of mistake?

The synonyms error and mistake are sometimes interchangeable, but 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

When can lapse be used instead of mistake?

While in some cases nearly identical to mistake, lapse stresses forgetfulness, weakness, or inattention as a cause.

a lapse in judgment

When could slip be used to replace mistake?

The words slip and mistake are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, slip stresses inadvertence or accident and applies especially to trivial but embarrassing mistakes.

a slip of the tongue

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Time Traveler for mistake

Time Traveler

The first known use of mistake was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Mistake.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on mistake

Nglish: Translation of mistake for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mistake for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about mistake


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