verb (used without object)
- to go astray in thought or belief; be mistaken; be incorrect.
- to go astray morally; sin: To err is human.
- Archaic. to deviate from the true course, aim, or purpose.
- to make a mistake; be incorrect
- to stray from the right course or accepted standards; sin
- to act with bias, esp favourable biasto err on the side of justice
c.1300, from Old French errer “go astray, lose one’s way; make a mistake; transgress,” from Latin errare “wander, go astray, be in error,” from PIE root *ers- “be in motion, wander around” (cf. Sanskrit arsati “flows;” Old English ierre “angry, straying;” Old Frisian ire “angry;” Old High German irri “angry,” irron “astray;” Gothic airziþa “error, deception;” the Germanic words reflecting the notion of anger as a “straying” from normal composure). Related: Erred; erring.