9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ur, er] /ɜr, ɛr/
verb (used without object)
to go astray in thought or belief; be mistaken; be incorrect.
to go astray morally; sin:
To err is human.
Archaic. to deviate from the true course, aim, or purpose.
Origin of err
1275-1325; Middle English erren < Old French errer < Latin errāre; akin to Gothic airzjan, Old High German irrôn, German irren
Related forms
errability, noun
errable, adjective
Can be confused
air, e'er, ere, err, heir.
er, err, Ur.
2. transgress, lapse. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for erred
  • It's not finding out what they meant, and if maybe both sides erred.
  • Many news reports of this research have so erred, in any case.
  • The college evidently erred in requiring a green card from applicants otherwise eligible for employment.
  • He erred, second, in edging too close to the brink of unpresidential shrillness.
  • Officials accept that they erred in not consulting earlier with neighbours.
  • Where they erred was in not asking for something in return.
  • Using a medium-size tablespoon they erred on the side of caution and tended to underdose.
  • The weather media may claim they erred on the side of caution.
  • The trial court erred in denying the motion to suppress.
  • Gill also contends that the district court erred when it denied his request for the appointment of counsel.
British Dictionary definitions for erred


verb (intransitive)
to make a mistake; be incorrect
to stray from the right course or accepted standards; sin
to act with bias, esp favourable bias: to err on the side of justice
Word Origin
C14: erren to wander, stray, from Old French errer, from Latin errāre
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for erred



c.1300, from Old French errer "go astray, lose one's way; make a mistake; transgress," from Latin errare "wander, go astray, be in error," from PIE root *ers- "be in motion, wander around" (cf. Sanskrit arsati "flows;" Old English ierre "angry, straying;" Old Frisian ire "angry;" Old High German irri "angry," irron "astray;" Gothic airziþa "error, deception;" the Germanic words reflecting the notion of anger as a "straying" from normal composure). Related: Erred; erring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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