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1. An error or fault resulting from defective judgment, deficient knowledge, or carelessness.
2. A misconception or misunderstanding.
v. mis·took (mĭ-sto͝ok′), mis·tak·en (mĭ-stā′kən), mis·tak·ing, mis·takes
1. To understand wrongly; misinterpret: mistook my politeness for friendliness.
2. To recognize or identify incorrectly: He mistook her for her sister.
To make a mistake; err.

[From Middle English mistaken, to misunderstand, from Old Norse mistaka, to take in error : mis-, wrongly; see mei- in Indo-European roots + taka, to take.]

mis·tak′er n.


1. an error or blunder in action, opinion, or judgment
2. a misconception or misunderstanding
vb, -takes, -taking, -took or -taken
3. (tr) to misunderstand; misinterpret: she mistook his meaning.
4. (foll by: for) to take (for), interpret (as), or confuse (with): she mistook his direct manner for honesty.
5. (tr) to choose badly or incorrectly: he mistook his path.
6. (intr) to make a mistake in action, opinion, judgment, etc
[C13 (meaning: to do wrong, err): from Old Norse mistaka to take erroneously]
misˈtaker n



n., v. -took, -tak•en, -tak•ing. n.
1. an error in action, opinion, or judgment caused by poor reasoning, carelessness, insufficient knowledge, etc.
2. a misunderstanding or misconception.
3. to regard or identify wrongly as something or someone else: I mistook her for the mayor.
4. to understand, interpret, or evaluate wrongly.
5. to be in error.
[1300–30; Middle English < Old Norse mistaka to take in error. See mis-1, take]
mis•tak′a•ble, adj.
mis•tak′a•bly, adv.
syn: mistake, error, blunder, slip refer to an inadvertent deviation from accuracy, correctness, truth, or right conduct. mistake refers to a wrong action, belief, or judgment; it may also suggest an incorrect understanding, perception, or interpretation: a mistake in arithmetic; It was a mistake to trust them. error is similar in sense, but may mean a deviation from a moral standard: I finally saw the error of my ways. blunder suggests a careless, clumsy, or stupid mistake, often serious: a tactical blunder. slip refers to a small mistake in speech or writing, or to a minor indiscretion: I misspelled his name by a slip of the pen.


1. 'mistake' and 'error'

A mistake is something incorrect or unfortunate that someone does. You say that someone makes a mistake.

He made a terrible mistake.
We made the mistake of leaving our bedroom window open.

In more formal English, you can use error with the same meaning. You also say that someone makes an error.

The letter contained several spelling errors.
He made a serious error in sending the man to prison.

Be Careful!
Don't say that someone 'does' a mistake or an error. Don't say, for example, 'He did a terrible mistake'.

You say that someone does something by mistake or, in more formal English, in error. Don't say 'in mistake or 'by error'.

I went into the wrong room by mistake.
She was given another student's report in error.
2. 'fault'

Don't use 'mistake' or 'error' to refer to something wrong in a machine or system. Use fault.

The machine has developed a fault.
I tried to call him on the phone, but there was some sort of fault on the line.


Past participle: mistaken
Gerund: mistaking

I mistake
you mistake
he/she/it mistakes
we mistake
you mistake
they mistake
I mistook
you mistook
he/she/it mistook
we mistook
you mistook
they mistook
Present Continuous
I am mistaking
you are mistaking
he/she/it is mistaking
we are mistaking
you are mistaking
they are mistaking
Present Perfect
I have mistaken
you have mistaken
he/she/it has mistaken
we have mistaken
you have mistaken
they have mistaken
Past Continuous
I was mistaking
you were mistaking
he/she/it was mistaking
we were mistaking
you were mistaking
they were mistaking
Past Perfect
I had mistaken
you had mistaken
he/she/it had mistaken
we had mistaken
you had mistaken
they had mistaken
I will mistake
you will mistake
he/she/it will mistake
we will mistake
you will mistake
they will mistake
Future Perfect
I will have mistaken
you will have mistaken
he/she/it will have mistaken
we will have mistaken
you will have mistaken
they will have mistaken
Future Continuous
I will be mistaking
you will be mistaking
he/she/it will be mistaking
we will be mistaking
you will be mistaking
they will be mistaking
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been mistaking
you have been mistaking
he/she/it has been mistaking
we have been mistaking
you have been mistaking
they have been mistaking
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been mistaking
you will have been mistaking
he/she/it will have been mistaking
we will have been mistaking
you will have been mistaking
they will have been mistaking
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been mistaking
you had been mistaking
he/she/it had been mistaking
we had been mistaking
you had been mistaking
they had been mistaking
I would mistake
you would mistake
he/she/it would mistake
we would mistake
you would mistake
they would mistake
Past Conditional
I would have mistaken
you would have mistaken
he/she/it would have mistaken
we would have mistaken
you would have mistaken
they would have mistaken
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.mistake - a wrong action attributable to bad judgment or ignorance or inattentionmistake - a wrong action attributable to bad judgment or ignorance or inattention; "he made a bad mistake"; "she was quick to point out my errors"; "I could understand his English in spite of his grammatical faults"
nonaccomplishment, nonachievement - an act that does not achieve its intended goal
blot, smirch, smear, stain, spot - an act that brings discredit to the person who does it; "he made a huge blot on his copybook"
mix-up, confusion - a mistake that results from taking one thing to be another; "he changed his name in order to avoid confusion with the notorious outlaw"
incursion - the mistake of incurring liability or blame
miscalculation, misestimation, misreckoning - a mistake in calculating
distortion - the mistake of misrepresenting the facts
parapraxis, slip-up, miscue, slip - a minor inadvertent mistake usually observed in speech or writing or in small accidents or memory lapses etc.
offside - (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
blooper, blunder, boner, boo-boo, botch, bungle, flub, foul-up, fuckup, pratfall, bloomer - an embarrassing mistake
balls-up, ballup, cockup, mess-up - something badly botched or muddled
renege, revoke - the mistake of not following suit when able to do so
2.mistake - an understanding of something that is not correctmistake - an understanding of something that is not correct; "he wasn't going to admit his mistake"; "make no mistake about his intentions"; "there must be some misunderstanding--I don't have a sister"
misconception - an incorrect conception
3.mistake - part of a statement that is not correct; "the book was full of errors"
misstatement - a statement that contains a mistake
corrigendum - 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
Verb1.mistake - identify incorrectlymistake - identify incorrectly; "Don't mistake her for her twin sister"
identify - consider to be equal or the same; "He identified his brother as one of the fugitives"
confuse, confound - mistake one thing for another; "you are confusing me with the other candidate"; "I mistook her for the secretary"
2.mistake - to make a mistake or be incorrectmistake - to make a mistake or be incorrect  
misremember - remember incorrectly; "I misremembered the date"
slip up, trip up, stumble - make an error; "She slipped up and revealed the name"
misjudge - judge incorrectly
fall for - be deceived, duped, or entrapped by; "He fell for her charms"; "He fell for the con man's story"


1. error, blunder, oversight, slip, misunderstanding, boob (Brit. slang), misconception, gaffe (informal), slip-up (informal), bloomer (Brit. informal), clanger (informal), miscalculation, error of judgment, faux pas, false move, boo-boo (informal) He says there must have been some mistake.
1. oversight, error, slip, inaccuracy, fault, slip-up (informal), howler (informal), goof, solecism, erratum Spelling mistakes are often just the result of haste.
2. confuse with, accept as, take for, mix up with, misinterpret as, confound with Hayfever is often mistaken for a summer cold.
3. misunderstand, misinterpret, misjudge, misread, misconstrue, get wrong, misapprehend, misconceive No one should mistake how serious this issue is.
make a mistake miscalculate, be wrong, blunder, err, boob (Brit. slang), slip up (informal), misjudge, goof (informal), drop a clanger (informal), put your foot in it (informal), be wide of or be off the mark I thought I had made a mistake, so I redid it.
"We are built to make mistakes, coded for error" [Lewis Thomas The Medusa and the Snail]
"The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything" [Edward John Phelps]


An act or thought that unintentionally deviates from what is correct, right, or true:
1. To make an error or mistake:
3. To take (one thing) mistakenly for another:
خَطأغَلَطٌيُخْطِأَ بَيْنَيُخطئ بين شَخصٍ وآخَريُسيئ فَهْم شَيءٍ
chybasplést sizaměnitzmýlit seomyl
fejlfejltagelseforveksle medtage fejl=-fejl
virheymmärtää väärin
grješkapogreškapogriješitizamijeniti s
mistök; villaruglast/villast ávillast á
palaikyti ką kuosupainioti
kļūdakļūdītiesnoturēt par citupārprastpārskatīties
omylspliesť si
napakapo pomoti


[mɪsˈteɪk] (mistook (vb: pt) (mistaken (pp)))
A. N
1.error m
there must be some mistakedebe de haber algún error
by mistake he has been arrested by mistakelo detuvieron por error or equivocación
he fired the gun by mistakedisparó la pistola sin querer
he took my hat in mistake for hisconfundió mi sombrero con el suyo
to make a mistake (gen) → cometer un error; (= be mistaken) → equivocarse
they made the mistake of asking too muchcometieron el error de pedir demasiado
the doctor must have made a mistakeel médico debe de haberse equivocado
make no mistake about it; let there be no mistake about ity que no quepa la menor duda
my mistake!¡la culpa es mía!, es culpa mía
she's pretty and no mistake >es guapa de verdad or con ganas
2. (in piece of work) → error m, fallo m
his essay was full of mistakessu trabajo estaba lleno de errores or fallos
if you make a mistake, start againsi te equivocas, vuelve a empezar
spelling mistakefalta f de ortografía
1. (= misunderstand) [+ meaning, remark] → malinterpretar
I'm sorry, I mistook your meaningperdón, te malinterpreté or no te entendí bien
there was no mistaking his intentionsu intención estaba clarísima
2. (= mix up, confuse) [+ time, road] → equivocarse de
I mistook the turning to your houseme equivoqué al torcer para ir a tu casa
to mistake sth/sb for sth/sbconfundir algo/a algn con algo/algn
he is often mistaken for Peterse le confunde muchas veces con Peter
she mistook his attention for interesterróneamente, interpretó su atención como interés
she could easily be mistaken for a boyse la podría confundir fácilmente con un chico
there's no mistaking her voicesu voz es inconfundible


(in calculation, judgement)erreur f
It was a mistake to buy those yellow shoes → C'était une erreur d'acheter ces chaussures jaunes.
to make a mistake (in calculating)faire une erreur
I'm sorry, I made a mistake → Je suis désolé, j'ai fait une erreur.
to make a terrible mistake → faire une terrible erreur
to make a mistake about sb/sth → se tromper sur le compte de qn/sur qch
you're making a big mistake → vous faites une grosse erreur
to make the mistake of doing sth → faire l'erreur de faire qch
to make the big mistake of doing sth → faire une grosse erreur en faisant qch
it's a big mistake to do that → c'est une grosse erreur de faire ça
there must be some mistake (= misunderstanding) → il doit y avoir une erreur
by mistake → par erreur
to do sth by mistake → faire qch par erreur
I took his bag by mistake → J'ai pris son sac par erreur.
it was my mistake (= I'm to blame) → c'était ma faute
(in spelling, grammar)faute f
a spelling mistake → une faute d'orthographe
His work is full of mistakes → Son travail est plein de fautes.
to make a mistake (in writing)faire une faute
vt [mistook] (pt) [mistaken] (pp)
(= misunderstand) [+ meaning] → mal comprendre; [+ mood] → se méprendre sur
The government completely mistook the mood of the country → Le gouvernement s'est complètement mépris sur l'état d'esprit du pays.
[+ intentions] → se méprendre sur
to mistake for → prendre pour
He was often mistaken for his brother → On le prenait souvent pour son frère.
(= get wrong) [+ name, address] → se tromper de
At first he thought he had mistaken the address → Il a d'abord cru qu'il s'était trompé d'adresse.
(= fail to recognize) there is no mistaking ... → il n'y a aucun doute sur ...
There is no mistaking his intentions → Il n'y a aucun doute sur ses intentions.
see also mistaken


nFehler m; to make a mistake (in writing, calculating etc) → einen Fehler machen; (= be mistaken)sich irren; you’re making a big mistake in marrying himSie machen or begehen (form)einen schweren Fehler, wenn Sie ihn heiraten; to make the mistake of asking too muchden Fehler machen or begehen (form), → zu viel zu verlangen; my biggest mistake was to …mein größter Fehler war, zu …; what a mistake (to make)!wie kann man nur (so einen Fehler machen)!; by mistakeaus Versehen, versehentlich; she was shot in mistake for her sistersie wurde irrtümlicherweise anstelle ihrer Schwester erschossen; there must be some mistakeda muss ein Fehler or Irrtum vorliegen; the mistake is mineder Fehler liegt bei mir; there’s no mistake about it, …(es besteht) kein Zweifel, …; let there be no mistake about it, make no mistake (about it)ein(e)s steht fest: …; make no mistake, I mean what I saydamit wir uns nicht falsch verstehen: mir ist es ernst or Ernst; it’s freezing and no mistake! (inf)(ich kann dir sagen,) das ist vielleicht eine Kälte! (inf)
vt pret <mistook>, ptp <mistaken>
words, meaning, remarks etcfalsch auffassen or verstehen; seriousness, causeverkennen, nicht erkennen; house, road, time of trainsich irren or vertun (inf)in (+dat); to mistake somebody’s meaningjdn falsch verstehen; I mistook you or what you meantich habe Sie falsch or nicht richtig verstanden; to mistake somebody’s identityjdn verwechseln; there’s no mistaking the urgency of the situationdie Dringlichkeit der Situation steht außer Frage; there’s no mistaking her writingihre Schrift ist unverkennbar; there’s no mistaking what he meanter hat sich unmissverständlich ausgedrückt; there was no mistaking his angerer war eindeutig wütend
to mistake A for BA mit B verwechseln, A für B halten; it cannot possibly be mistaken for anything elsedas ist doch unverkennbar!, das kann man doch gar nicht verwechseln!
to be mistakensich irren; to be mistaken about something/somebodysich in etw/jdm irren; to be mistaken in thinking that …fälschlicherweise annehmen, dass …; you are badly mistaken thereda irren Sie sich aber gewaltig!; if I am not mistaken …, unless I am (very much) mistaken …wenn mich nicht alles täuscht …, wenn ich mich nicht irre


[mɪsˈteɪk] (mistook (vb: pt) (mistaken (pp)))
1. nerrore m, sbaglio
to make a mistake (in writing, calculating) → fare uno sbaglio or un errore
to make a mistake (about sb/sth) → sbagliarsi (sul conto di qn/su qc)
my mistake! → è colpa mia!
you're making a big mistake → commetti un grosso or grave errore
I made the mistake of trusting him → ho fatto l'errore di fidarmi di lui
by mistake → per sbaglio
he took my hat in mistake for his → ha preso il mio cappello credendo fosse il suo
there must be some mistake → ci dev'essere un errore
make no mistake (about it) → non aver paura, sta' tranquillo
she's pretty and no mistake (fam) → è proprio una bella ragazza
2. vt (meaning, remark) → capir male, fraintendere; (road) → sbagliare; (time) → sbagliarsi su
to mistake A for B → prendere or scambiare A per B


(miˈsteik) past tense miˈstook (-ˈstuk) : past participle miˈstaken verb
1. (with for) to think that (one person or thing) is another. I mistook you for my brother in this bad light.
2. to make an error about. They mistook the date, and arrived two days early.
a wrong act or judgement. a spelling mistake; It was a mistake to trust him; I took your umbrella by mistake – it looks like mine.
miˈstaken adjective
wrong. You are mistaken if you think he's clever.
miˈstakenly adverb


غَلَطٌ, يُخْطِأَ بَيْنَ chyba, splést si fejl, tage fejl Fehler, verwechseln λάθος, παρανοώ confundir, error virhe, ymmärtää väärin erreur, se tromper pogreška, zamijeniti s confondere, errore 間違い, 間違える 실수, 오인하다 fout, vergissen (zich) feiltagelse, ta feil błąd, pomylić confundir, errar, erro ошибаться, ошибка missförstå, misstag ความผิดพลาด, ทำให้เข้าใจผิด hata, hata yapmak lỗi, nhầm 弄错, 错误


n. error, equivocación, desacierto, falta;
vr. equivocarse, confundirse;
vi. equivocar, entender mal, confundir.
References in periodicals archive ?
2--Color) With its olive head and back, yellow sides and red belly, there is no mistaking the golden trout - California's state fish.
But there is no mistaking what her live words say as they rise from the dead despite their lost syntax and their fragmented presence.

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