oversight

An oversight is a mistake you make when you're not paying full attention. Your failure to add the sugar to the cookies was an unfortunate oversight — you were so engrossed in texting that you forgot it.

Oversights are not intentional mistakes. Usually they're just the result of inattention. If you make an oversight in your inspection of a nuclear power plant and it later goes into meltdown, you'll get fired. An inspector is supposed to pay attention. But if you forgot your cousin's birthday because you're busy taking care of Grandma, that's a forgivable oversight. Oversight is also the act of supervising something, like the construction of a dam, or a high school prom.

Primary Meanings of oversight

1.
n
an unintentional omission resulting from failure to notice something
2.
n
management by overseeing the performance or operation of a person or group
Full Definitions of oversight
1

n an unintentional omission resulting from failure to notice something

Synonyms:
inadvertence
Type of:
omission
neglecting to do something; leaving out or passing over something

n a mistake resulting from inattention

Synonyms:
lapse
Type of:
error, fault, mistake
a wrong action attributable to bad judgment or ignorance or inattention
2

n management by overseeing the performance or operation of a person or group

Synonyms:
superintendence, supervising, supervision
Types:
invigilation
keeping watch over examination candidates to prevent cheating
Type of:
direction, management
the act of managing something

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.