Etymology: Middle English errour, from Anglo-French, from Latin error, from errare
Date: 13th century
a. 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>: 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 2. a. 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 (as a wrong color) in its manufacture 4. a. 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> • errorless adjective Synonyms: 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>.
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.