American English

Definition of mistake noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1an action or an opinion that is not correct, or that produces a result that you did not want It's easy to make a mistake. This letter is addressed to someone else—there must be some mistake. It would be a mistake to ignore his opinion. Don't worry, we all make mistakes. You must try to learn from your mistakes. Leaving school so young was the biggest mistake of my life. Imade the mistake of giving him my address. It was a big mistake on my part to have trusted her. a great/serious/terrible mistake It's a common mistake (= one that a lot of people make).
  2. 2a word, figure, etc. that is not said or written down correctly synonym error It's a common mistake among learners of English. The waiter made a mistake (in) adding up the bill. Her essay is full of spelling mistakes.
  3. Thesaurusmistakeerror inaccuracy slip misprintThese are all words for a word, figure, or fact that is not said, written down, or typed correctly.mistake a word or figure that is not said or written down correctly:It's a common mistake among learners of English. spelling mistakeserror (somewhat formal) a word, figure, etc. that is not said or written down correctly:There are too many errors in your work. Error is a more formal way of saying mistake.inaccuracy (somewhat formal) a piece of information that is not exactly correct:The article is full of inaccuracies.slip a small mistake, usually made by being careless or not paying attentionmisprint a small mistake in a printed textPatterns a(n) mistake/error/inaccuracy/slip/misprint in something to make a(n) mistake/error/slip to contain/be full of/include mistakes/errors/inaccuracies/misprintsIdioms by accident; without intending to I took your bag instead of mine by mistake.
    make no mistake (about something)
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    used to emphasize what you are saying, especially when you want to warn someone about something Make no mistake (about it), this is one crisis that won't just go away.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: mistake

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