error


error
error, mistake, blunder, slip, lapse, faux pas, bull, howler, boner are comparable when they denote something (as an act, statement, or belief) that involves a departure from what is, or what is generally held to be, true, right, or proper.
Error implies a straying from a proper course and suggests such guilt as may lie in failure to take proper advantage of a guide (as a record or manuscript, a rule or set of rules, or a principle, law, or code); thus, a typographical error results when a compositor misreads a manuscript; an error in addition involves some failure to follow the rules for addition; an error in conduct is an infraction of an accepted code of manners or morals
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those who, with sincerity and generosity, fight and fall in an evil cause, posterity can only compassionate as victims of a generous but fatal errorScott

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without understanding grievous and irreparable errors can be made— Donald Harrington

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Mistake implies misconception, misunderstanding, a wrong but not always blameworthy judgment, or inadvertence; it expresses less severe criticism than error
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he made a serious mistake when he chose the law as his profession

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a child makes many mistakes in spelling

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there is a medium between truth and falsehood, and (I believe) the word mistake expresses it exactly. I will therefore say that you were mistaken— Cowper

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Blunder is harsher than mistake or error; it commonly implies ignorance or stupidity, sometimes blameworthiness
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we usually call our blunders mistakes, and our friends style our mistakes blundersWheatley

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one's translation is sure to be full of gross blunders, but the supreme blunder is that of translating at all when one is trying to catch not a fact but a feeling— Henry Adams

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Slip carries a stronger implication of inadvertence or accident than mistake and often, in addition, connotes triviality
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the wrong date on the check was a slip of the pen

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a social slip which makes us feel hot all over— L. P. Smith

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Often, especially when it implies a transgression against morality, the word is used euphemistically or ironically
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let Christian's slips before he came hither ... be a warning to those that come after— Bunyan

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the minister . . . comes when people are in extremis, but they don't send for him every time they make a slight moral slip—tell a lie, for instance, or smuggle a silk dress through the customhouse— Holmes

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Lapse, though sometimes used interchangeably with slip, stresses forgetfulness, weakness, or inattention more than accident; thus, one says a lapse of memory or a slip of the pen, but not vice versa
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writes well, despite occasional lapses into polysyllabic humor— Geographical Jour.

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When used in reference to a moral transgression, it carries a weaker implication of triviality than slip and a stronger one of a fall from grace or from one's own standards
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for all his . . . lapses, there was in him a real nobility, an even ascetic firmness and purity of character— Ellis

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Faux pas is most frequently applied to a mistake in etiquette
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she was carefully instructed so that there was no danger of her making a faux pas when she was presented at the Court of St. James's

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John and 1, horrified, hustled him .out before he could commit any further faux pas—S. H. Adams

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Bull, howler, and boner all three are rather informal terms applicable to blunders (and especially to blunders in speech or writing) that typically have an amusing aspect. A bull may be a grotesque blunder in language typically characterized by some risible incongruity
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the well-known bull stating that "one man is just as good as another—and sometimes more so"

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or it may be a mere stupid or gauche blunder
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he really committed a bull when he solemnly introduced his new friend to the latter's ex-wife

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A howler is a gross or ludicrous error based on ignorance or confusion of ideas; the term is used especially of laughable errors in scholastic recitations or examinations
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a collection of schoolboy howlers

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a howler that turns the title "Intimations of Immortality" into "Imitations of Immorality"

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A boner may be a grammatical, logical, or factual blunder in a piece of writing that is usually so extreme as to be funny
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a few historical boners . . . such as dinosaurs surviving until medieval times— Coulton Waugh

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or it may be a ridiculous or embarrassing slip of the kind that results from a sudden lapse (as of attention or from tact or decorum)
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is the proprietor of a large and varied selection of diplomatic bonersRosenthal

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New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • error — er·ror n: an act that through ignorance, deficiency, or accident departs from or fails to achieve what should be done procedural error s; esp: a mistake made by a lower court in conducting judicial proceedings or making findings in a case to… …   Law dictionary

  • Error — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Error o erróneo, pueden referirse a distintos conceptos en distintos campos de conocimiento: Psicología y planificación: Error de concepto: inexactitud o equivocación al producir en la mente una idea sobre algo.… …   Wikipedia Español

  • error — er‧ror [ˈerə ǁ ˈerər] noun [countable] 1. a mistake: • The confusion was the result of a computer error. • The company has made some strategic errors. ˈcompensating ˌerror ACCOUNTING a mistake in keeping accounts that is hard to find because it… …   Financial and business terms

  • Error — • Reduplicatively regarded, is in one way or another the product of ignorance. But besides the lack of information which it implies, it adds the positive element of a mental judgment, by which something false is held to be true, or something true …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Error — Er ror, n. [OF. error, errur, F. erreur, L. error, fr. errare to err. See {Err}.] 1. A wandering; a roving or irregular course. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] The rest of his journey, his error by sea. B. Jonson. [1913 Webster] 2. A wandering or deviation …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Error — (englisch ‚Fehler‘) hat verschiedene Bedeutungen: Error, fachsprachlicher Begriff für eine Ausnahmesituation des Programmablaufs im Computerwesen, siehe Programmfehler Error, Name einer Band von Brett Gurewitz, siehe Error (Band) Error, Begriff… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • error — [er′ər] n. [ME & OFr errour < L error < errare: see ERR] 1. the state of believing what is untrue, incorrect, or wrong 2. a wrong belief; incorrect opinion 3. something incorrectly done through ignorance or carelessness; mistake 4. a… …   English World dictionary

  • error — sustantivo masculino 1. Concepto equivocado o falso: Decía que la otra teoría estaba llena de errores. Sinónimo: equivocación. 2. Dicho o hecho equivocado: Dejarle entrar en casa fue un error. Hay un error en las listas de aprobados. Murió por un …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • error — also, through 18c., errour, c.1300, from O.Fr. error mistake, flaw, defect, heresy, from L. errorem (nom. error) a wandering, straying, mistake, from errare to wander (see ERR (Cf. err)). Words for error in most I.E. languages originally meant… …   Etymology dictionary

  • error — concepto equivocado o falso Diccionario ilustrado de Términos Médicos.. Alvaro Galiano. 2010. error 1. Cualquier fallo en un programa de ordenador (error de software) o un defecto de diseño en el …   Diccionario médico


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