English Dictionary

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mistake (mɪˈsteɪk



  1. an error or blunder in action, opinion, or judgment
  2. a misconception or misunderstanding



-takes -taking -took or -taken
  1. (transitive) to misunderstand; misinterpret   ⇒  ■ she mistook his meaning
  2. (transitive) foll by for to take (for), interpret (as), or confuse (with)   ⇒  ■ she mistook his direct manner for honesty
  3. (transitive) to choose badly or incorrectly   ⇒  ■ he mistook his path
  4. (intransitive) to make a mistake in action, opinion, judgment, etc

Derived Forms

misˈtaker  noun

Word Origin

C13 (meaning: to do wrong, err): from Old Norse mistaka to take erroneously


View thesaurus entry
= error, blunder, oversight, slip, misunderstanding, boob (British) (slang), misconception, gaffe (informal), slip-up (informal), bloomer (British) (informal), clanger (informal), miscalculation, error of judgment, faux pas, false move, boo-boo (informal), barry or Barry Crocker (Australian) (slang), misstep
= oversight, error, slip, inaccuracy, fault, slip-up (informal), howler (informal), goof, solecism, erratum, barry or Barry Crocker (Australian) (slang)

Quotations including 'mistake'

  • "We are built to make mistakes, coded for error" [Lewis Thomas
  • "The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything" [Edward John Phelps]

Translations for 'mistake'

  • British English: mistake A mistake is something you do which you did not intend to do, or which produces a result that you do not want.She made the mistake of going against her doctor's advice.mɪˈsteɪk NOUN
  • Arabic: غَلَطٌ
  • Brazilian Portuguese: erro
  • Chinese: 错误
  • Croatian: pogreška
  • Czech: chyba
  • Danish: fejl
  • Dutch: fout
  • European Spanish: error
  • Finnish: virheerehdys
  • French: erreur
  • German: Fehler Fehler
  • Greek: λάθος
  • Italian: errore
  • Japanese: 間違い
  • Korean: 실수
  • Norwegian: feiltagelse
  • Polish: błąd
  • Portuguese: erro
  • Romanian: greșeală greșeli de tipar
  • Russian: ошибка
  • Spanish: error
  • Swedish: misstag
  • Thai: ความผิดพลาด
  • Turkish: hata
  • Ukrainian: помилка
  • Vietnamese: lỗi
  • British English: mistake If you mistake one person or thing for another, you wrongly think that they are the other person or thing.I mistook you for my brother.mɪˈsteɪk VERB
  • Arabic: يُخْطِأَ بَيْنَ
  • Brazilian Portuguese: confundir
  • Chinese: 弄错
  • Croatian: zamijeniti s
  • Czech: splést si plést sikoho s kým
  • Danish: tage fejl
  • Dutch: vergissen (zich)
  • European Spanish: confundir
  • Finnish: ymmärtää väärin
  • French: se tromper
  • German: verwechseln
  • Greek: παρανοώ
  • Italian: confondere
  • Japanese: 間違える
  • Korean: 오인하다
  • Norwegian: ta feil
  • Polish: pomylić mylić
  • Portuguese: errar
  • Romanian: a confunda
  • Russian: ошибаться
  • Spanish: confundir
  • Swedish: missförstå
  • Thai: ทำให้เข้าใจผิด
  • Turkish: hata yapmak
  • Ukrainian: помилятися помилитися
  • Vietnamese: nhầm

Example Sentences Including 'mistake'

Perhaps that's been my mistake... you know, being queer,' he said, grinning.
Robert Wilson BLOOD IS DIRT (2002)
How strange to think that a man's life could hinge on such a trivial mistake.
Hugo Wilcken THE EXECUTION (2002)
Above us, on the roof, a couple of vultures were waiting for someone to make a mistake crossing the road.


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