Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[er-er] /ˈɛr ər/
a deviation from accuracy or correctness; a mistake, as in action or speech:
His speech contained several factual errors.
belief in something untrue; the holding of mistaken opinions.
the condition of believing what is not true:
in error about the date.
a moral offense; wrongdoing; sin.
Baseball. a misplay that enables a base runner to reach base safely or advance a base, or a batter to have a turn at bat prolonged, as the dropping of a ball batted in the air, the fumbling of a batted or thrown ball, or the throwing of a wild ball, but not including a passed ball or wild pitch.
Mathematics. the difference between the observed or approximately determined value and the true value of a quantity.
  1. a mistake in a matter of fact or law in a case tried in a court of record.
  2. writ of error.
Philately. a stamp distinguished by an error or errors in design, engraving, selection of inks, or setting up of the printing apparatus.
Compare freak1 (def 5), variety (def 8).
1250-1300; Middle English errour < Latin errōr- (stem of error), equivalent to err- err + -or -or1
Related forms
errorless, adjective
errorlessly, adverb
1. blunder, slip, oversight. See mistake. 4. fault, transgression, trespass, misdeed. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for errors
  • People are more forgiving if the robot warns them first that it might make errors or apologizes when it screws up.
  • We blame the winners, not the prize, for the errors.
  • There were moments of excess and errors of omission.
  • Indeed, the history of targeted killing is marked by errors.
  • And free you from the errors of your ways, some of which you even see yourself.
  • He had laid it down as a rule that the poet should use the simple language of peasants, merely freed from its errors.
  • The periodic or compensating errors of the planets is another instance.
  • The book is interesting and lucid as it examines the errors and exaggerations in the national self-image.
  • The errors of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago.
  • Mode errors are a major problem in avionics design, too.
British Dictionary definitions for errors


a mistake or inaccuracy, as in action or speech: a typing error
an incorrect belief or wrong judgment
the condition of deviating from accuracy or correctness, as in belief, action, or speech: he was in error about the train times
deviation from a moral standard; wrongdoing: he saw the error of his ways
(maths, statistics) a measure of the difference between some quantity and an approximation to or estimate of it, often expressed as a percentage: an error of 5%
(statistics) See type I error, type II error
Derived Forms
error-free, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Latin, from errāre to err
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 errors



also, through 18c., errour, c.1300, from Old French error "mistake, flaw, defect, heresy," from Latin errorem (nominative error) "a wandering, straying, mistake," from errare "to wander" (see err).

Words for "error" in most Indo-European languages originally meant "wander, go astray" (but cf. Irish dearmad "error," from dermat "a forgetting").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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errors in Medicine

error er·ror (ěr'ər)

  1. A defect or insufficiency in structure or function.

  2. An act, an assertion, or a decision, especially one made in testing a hypothesis, that unintentionally deviates from what is correct, right, or true.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Idioms and Phrases with errors
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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