- To err is defined as to make a mistake or to do something wrong.
When you add 2+2 and get 5, this is an example of a situation where you err.
- to be wrong or mistaken; fall into error
- to deviate from the established moral code; do wrong
- Obsolete to go astray; wander
Origin: Middle English erren ; from Old French errer ; from Classical Latin errare, to wander, go astray, err ; from Indo-European an unverified form eras- from source race, German irren, to err
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
intransitive verb erred, err·ing, errs
- To make an error or a mistake.
- To violate accepted moral standards; sin.
- Archaic To stray.
Origin: Middle English erren, from Old French errer, from Latin errāre, to wander; see ers- in Indo-European roots.Usage Note: The pronunciation (ûr) for the word err is traditional, but the pronunciation (ĕr) has gained ground in recent years, perhaps owing to influence from errant and error, and must now be regarded as an acceptable variant. The Usage Panel was split on the matter: 56 percent preferred (ûr), 34 percent preferred (ĕr), and 10 percent accepted both pronunciations.