"I'm sorry, sir, there's been some sort of error in the kitchen," is what a restaurant waiter might say to a patron who ordered the fish but was mistakenly served a plateful of worms instead.

Simply put, an error is a mistake. However, that mistake is more likely due to a lapse in judgment or skill than to an accident. A plane crash that occurs after the pilot mistakenly presses the "pilot eject" button is said to be caused by "human error." A baseball play in which the pitcher throws the ball to second base instead of first because he was distracted by a pretty girl in the stands is an error — one that might cost his team the game.

Primary Meanings of error

a wrong action attributable to bad judgment or ignorance or inattention
(baseball) a failure of a defensive player to make an out when normal play would have sufficed
(computer science) the occurrence of an incorrect result produced by a computer
Full Definitions of error

n a wrong action attributable to bad judgment or ignorance or inattention

“she was quick to point out my errors
fault, mistake
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blot, smear, smirch, spot, stain
an act that brings discredit to the person who does it
confusion, mix-up
a mistake that results from taking one thing to be another
the mistake of incurring liability or blame
miscalculation, misestimation, misreckoning
a mistake in calculating
the mistake of misrepresenting the facts
miscue, parapraxis, slip, slip-up
a minor inadvertent mistake usually observed in speech or writing or in small accidents or memory lapses etc.
(sport) the mistake of occupying an illegal position on the playing field (in football, soccer, ice hockey, field hockey, etc.)
lapse, oversight
a mistake resulting from inattention
omission, skip
a mistake resulting from neglect
bloomer, blooper, blunder, boo-boo, botch, bungle, flub, foul-up, pratfall
an embarrassing mistake
balls-up, ballup, cockup, mess-up
something badly botched or muddled
betise, folly, foolishness, imbecility, stupidity
a stupid mistake
renege, revoke
the mistake of not following suit when able to do so
an unexpected omission
the momentary juggling of a batted or thrown baseball
backfire, boomerang
a miscalculation that recoils on its maker
rounding, rounding error
(mathematics) a miscalculation that results from rounding off numbers to a convenient number of decimals
truncation error
(mathematics) a miscalculation that results from cutting off a numerical calculation before it is finished
Freudian slip
a slip-up that (according to Sigmund Freud) results from the operation of unconscious wishes or conflicts and can reveal unconscious processes in normal healthy individuals
a blunder that makes you look ridiculous; used in the phrase `make a spectacle of' yourself
a serious and ludicrous blunder
fumble, muff
(sports) dropping the ball
a blunder (especially an actor's forgetting the lines)
faux pas, gaffe, gaucherie, slip, solecism
a socially awkward or tactless act
a glaring blunder
a conspicuous mistake whose effects seem to reverberate
misstep, stumble, trip, trip-up
an unintentional but embarrassing blunder
Type of:
nonaccomplishment, nonachievement
an act that does not achieve its intended goal

n a misconception resulting from incorrect information

erroneous belief
Type of:
an incorrect conception

n inadvertent incorrectness

the error of a compass due to local magnetic disturbances
Type of:
incorrectness, wrongness
the quality of not conforming to fact or truth

n part of a statement that is not correct

“the book was full of errors
a printer's error; to be corrected
erratum, literal, literal error, misprint, typo, typographical error
a mistake in printed matter resulting from mechanical failures of some kind
Type of:
a statement that contains a mistake

n departure from what is ethically acceptable

Type of:
evil, evilness
the quality of being morally wrong in principle or practice

n (baseball) a failure of a defensive player to make an out when normal play would have sufficed

Type of:
an act that fails

n (computer science) the occurrence of an incorrect result produced by a computer

computer error
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hardware error
error resulting from a malfunction of some physical component of the computer
programming error, software error
error resulting from bad code in some program involved in producing the erroneous result
algorithm error
error resulting from the choice of the wrong algorithm or method for achieving the intended result
disk error
error resulting from malfunction of a magnetic disk
run-time error, runtime error, semantic error
an error in logic or arithmetic that must be detected at run time
syntax error
an error of language resulting from code that does not conform to the syntax of the programming language
Type of:
happening, natural event, occurrence, occurrent
an event that happens

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