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Synonym Chooser

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

Thesaurus Entries Near mistake

Cite this Entry

“Mistake.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/mistake. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

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