Meaning of ERROR in English

ˈerə(r) sometimes ˈeˌrȯ(ə)r or -ȯ(ə) noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English errour, from Old French error, errour, from Latin error, from errare to err


a. : an act or condition of often ignorant or imprudent deviation from a code of behavior : violation of ritual holiness, moral rectitude, or social convention : sin

entice with licentious passions of the flesh men who have barely escaped from … error — 2 Pet 2:18 (Revised Standard Version)

: offense , fault

the official's errors of nepotism and acceptance of large gifts from lobbyists

b. : an act involving an unintentional deviation from truth or accuracy : a mistake in perception, reasoning, recollection, or expression

made an error in adding up the bill

gunnery errors

c. : an act that through ignorance, deficiency, or accident departs from or fails to achieve what should be done

got lost when he made the error of turning left at the fork

an error of judgment

the error of writing last year's date early in January


(1) : a misplay (as a fumble or a wild throw) by a baseball player when normal play would have resulted in an out or prevented an advance by a base runner — not used of a passed ball or wild pitch

an error is charged against a fielder at the discretion of the official scorer

(2) : a failure in bowling to make a spare when the previous ball left no split

(3) : a failure in a racket game to return the ball to the opponent's court after touching it with the racket (as in tennis by hitting it into the net or outside the court)


(1) : a mistake in the proceedings of a court of record in matters of law or of fact

(2) : writ of error

(3) : proceedings for a writ of error


a. : the quality or state of erring ; especially : the act of believing or of setting forth what is not true

the firm is in error as to the facts of the case

the map is in error regarding the junction

b. Christian Science : illusion about the nature of reality that is the cause of human suffering : the contradiction of truth

error is a supposition that pleasure and pain, that intelligence, substance, life are existent in matter — Mary B. Eddy

c. : an instance of false belief : a mistaken idea or system of ideas

an opposite error … is the belief that children are naturally virtuous — Bertrand Russell

d. : the body of false beliefs : falsehood

hope to reduce error by promoting education

3. : something (as a misstatement or misprint) produced by mistake

a typographical error

specifically : a postage stamp released for use that shows flaw in its manufacture (as in differing in color or paper from others of its issue and denomination)

4. archaic : an irregular course : wandering

brooks rolling with mazy error — John Milton


a. mathematics : the difference between an observed or calculated value of a quantity and the true value ; specifically statistics : variation in the measurements, calculations, or observations of a quantity due to mistakes or to usually uncontrollable factors — see probable error , standard error

b. in artillery fire : the divergence of a point of impact from the center of impact in a dispersion of shots : the distance of a shot from the target

c. : the amount of deviation from a standard or specification

weights used to determine the error of a scale

the allowable error in milling a machine part is called its tolerance

6. : a deficiency or imperfection in structure or function : defect

an error in vision may cause headaches


mistake , blunder , slip , lapse , faux pas , bull , howler , boner : error indicates a deviation from correct, sanctioned, approved belief, procedure, practice, or course

the errors in their beliefs

an error in reasoning

it is a common error to speak of the doctrine of science when what is meant is naturalism — W.R.Inge

an error in addition

sent by error to the wrong department

mistake suggests a misunderstanding, wrong decision, or inadvertent wrong action; it may apply to the unimportant or momentary but does not always do so

a mistake in reading the road map

a mistake in admitting these students

a mistake in copying the list

blunder may imply ignorance, stupidity, or culpable lack of foresight and care

fortunate to be acquitted by a court-martial after he had made a tragic blunder and lost many of his own men — Peter Forster

we usually call our blunders mistakes and our friends style our mistakes blunders — H.B.Wheatley

slip may apply to a trivial readily forgivable mistake, inadvertence, or accident

a slip of the pen

a list such as a busy and not very well educated library clerk might make, with many slips and grammatical mistakes — R.W.Southern

lapse may suggest forgetfulness, inattention, or weakness

you gave natives bits to copy under all possible threats against lapses of accuracy, only to discover at the end that they had embroidered the work pleasantly to their own fancy — Mary Austin

faux pas now usually indicates a social blunder as a violation of etiquette or an instance of tactlessness

John and I, horrified, hustled him out before he could commit any further faux pas — S.H.Adams

bull usually applies to a blunder marked by stupidity although it is often applied to a remark purposely contrived to contain an amusing incongruity

the well-known bull stating that “as one man is just as good as another — and sometimes more so”

“the next train to Dublin has just gone”, the stationmaster said and laughed at his own bull

howler usually applies to a ludicrous blunder made through ignorance or dim-wittedness

a schoolboy howler that turns the title “Intimations of Immortality” into “Imitations of Immorality”

refused to go on a quiz show for fear he'd make howlers

boner suggests a blunder made through thoughtlessness as well as dim-wittedness

made the boner of inviting his boss to dinner on the night his wife's bridge group was due to meet at his house

pulled a real boner when he said the American Civil War was in the 18th century

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.