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false step

a stumble.
an unwise or blundering act. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for false step
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A false step, and down would fall all my plans like a house of cards.

    The Hero of Garside School J. Harwood Panting
  • "I made a false step there; but it was just like me to bungle," continued Gaston.

    Fairy Fingers Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
  • He did know enough to feel assured that any false step on his part now would lead him into very serious difficulties.

    The Last Chronicle of Barset Anthony Trollope
  • If her memory should fail, or if she should make a false step, he would not hesitate to push her.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • One false step, one unguarded word, one untoward event would have consigned us to Castle Thunder, or the gallows.

  • You have pleaded your youth as an excuse for your first 'false step,' as you call it.

    Victor's Triumph Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth
  • Whoever takes the first step takes the false step; I see that.'

    Vittoria, Complete George Meredith
  • Dubois felt that he had taken a false step, and remained silent.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
British Dictionary definitions for false step

false step

an unwise action
a stumble; slip
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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Idioms and Phrases with false step

false step

A stumble or blunder, as in Making a down payment without securing a mortgage was clearly a false step. This term transfers physical stumbling or tripping to other enterprises. [ c. 1700 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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