A mistake is an error, a goof, a slip-up. When you make a mistake, you've done something incorrectly.

Mistake has a lot of uses, but they all have to do with doing the wrong thing. A mistake in math class will result in the wrong answer, but a mistake with a gun could get someone killed. If you mix up two people, you're mistaking one for the other. When you make a mistake, the best thing to do is admit it and try to make up for it; not apologizing for a mistake is another mistake.

Definitions of mistake
  1. noun
    a wrong action attributable to bad judgment or ignorance or inattention
    “he made a bad mistake
    synonyms: error, fault
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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
  2. noun
    an understanding of something that is not correct
    “he wasn't going to admit his mistake
    “make no mistake about his intentions”
    synonyms: misapprehension, misunderstanding
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    type of:
    an incorrect conception
  3. noun
    part of a statement that is not correct
    synonyms: error
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    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
  4. verb
    identify incorrectly
    “Don't mistake her for her twin sister”
    synonyms: misidentify
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    conflate, confound, confuse
    mistake one thing for another
    type of:
    consider to be equal or the same
  5. verb
    to make a mistake or be incorrect
    synonyms: err, slip
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    remember incorrectly
    slip up, stumble, trip up
    make an error
    judge incorrectly
    fall for
    be deceived, duped, or entrapped by
    underestimate, underrate
    make too low an estimate of
    overestimate, overrate
    make too high an estimate of
    miscalculate, misestimate
    judge incorrectly
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