English Dictionary

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err (ɜː Pronunciation for err


verb (intransitive)

  1. to make a mistake; be incorrect
  2. to stray from the right course or accepted standards; sin
  3. 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


View thesaurus entry
= make a mistake, mistake, go wrong, blunder, slip up, misjudge, be incorrect, be inaccurate, miscalculate, go astray, be in error, put your foot in it, misapprehend, blot your copybook, drop a brick or clanger
= sin, fall, offend, lapse, trespass, do wrong, deviate, misbehave, go astray, transgress, be out of order, blot your copybook

Quotations including 'err'

  • "To err is human, to forgive divine" [Alexander Pope

Translations for 'err'

  • British English: err If you err, you make a mistake. VERBIt criticizes the main contractor for seriously erring in its original estimates.
  • Brazilian Portuguese: errar
  • Chinese: 犯错犯错錯
  • European Spanish: errar
  • French: se tromper
  • German: sich irren
  • Italian: errare
  • Japanese: 誤る
  • Korean: 실수하다
  • Portuguese: errar
  • Spanish: errar

Example Sentences Including 'err'

Both the boy and Chade were eager for us to press on, but I was determined to err on the side of caution after our near disaster.
Robin Hobb THE GOLDEN FOOL: Book Two of the Tawny Man (2002)
Fox fans have excused the animal for acting like an, err , wild beast.
Times, Sunday Times (2002)
He is the one on trial and I think the court should err in favour of the accused and declare a mistrial.
canada.com (2005)
Llewelyn was his sister's husband and therefore entitled to err.
Penman, Sharon Here Be Dragons
There's a new generation of drugs to help you, says Jeremy Laurance To err is human.
Belfast Telegraph (2005)
We therefore thought it right to err on the side of financial prudence.
Thatcher, Margaret The Downing Street Years
Where the group did err was in not managing its finances as well as its product quality.
Business Today (1998)
Yes, it is a subjective judgment, and when there is doubt, the censors should err on the side of caution.
Australian News Misc (2004)
more or less as yainy oonoatimy) will err little more than Bilbo, Meriadoc, or Peregrin.
J.R.R. Tolkien THE LORD OF THE RINGS (2004)


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