Mistake Synonym Guide — Definition, Antonyms & Examples

Finding the synonyms of some terms can be pretty challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. What’s a synonym for mistake? This article explores this term in detail, highlighting its synonyms and antonyms, including sentence examples using the term.

Mistake — Etymology and Definition

‘Mistake’ functions grammatically as a noun and a verb depending on the context. It takes its origin from Middle English mistaken, Old Norse mistaka (“to miscarry”); equivalent to mis- +‎ take.

Mistake as a noun

The dictionary defines a mistake as “an act or judgment that is wrong or misguided.” The plural of the term is ‘mistakes.’ i.e., it was a mistake.

  • I made a mistake with you, and I’m never repeating it.
  • It was a mistake visiting Tina; she made me feel so uncomfortable.
  • You didn’t do that intentionally; it was only a mistake.
  • Everybody makes mistakes; why are you biting yourself hard?
  • The manager wouldn’t hear that it was a mistake; he still relieved me of my duties.
  • Sure, you made a terrible mistake, but it’s not the end of the world.

Mistake as a verb

The term ‘mistake’ also functions as a verb. To mistake means to view wrongly, taking one thing or person for another. i.e., You mistake my kindness for stupidity. It also means “to do wrongly.”

The word takes the following forms: simple present – mistakes, present participle – mistaking, simple past – mistook, and past participle – mistaken.

  • I mistook Nathan for his brother; they look so much alike.
  • I mistakenly submitted the wrong file to my boss.
  • Jerry mistakes brownies for coffee; I don’t even know how!
  • Please mark the original, so you don’t mistake it with the false one.
  • I mistook a woman for Jay when I saw her in the store.

Synonym for Mistake — Exploring words with Similar Meanings

Similar terms for the noun ‘mistake’ include fault, omission, aberration, lapse, oversight, misapprehension, slip and miscalculation.

Words with similar meanings to the verb ‘mistake’ include misinterpret, misconstrue, misread, misconceive, confuse and misjudge.

Let’s take an in-depth look at some of these terms.

1. Error

The term originates from Anglo-Norman errour. It means “an unintentional wrong.”

  • I made an error in my essay that cost me some marks.
  • Deborah’s error was almost unnoticeable.

2. Blunder

The term originates from Middle English blonder (“disturbance, strife”), andOld Norse blunda (“to shut the eyes; doze”). The term means “a careless or clumsy wrong action.”

  • That was a grave blunder you committed.
  • We lost the competition because of a blunder.

3. Omission

‘Omission’ is a synonym for mistake. It originates from Old French omission, Late Latin omissio, omissionem, and Latin omitto. It means “to leave out something; to neglect an action.”

  • You made an omission of name; is that intentional?
  • The principal’s omission from the school’s event was surprising.

4. Misunderstand

The verb is derived from mis- “badly or wrongly” +‎ understand. The term means “to attach a wrong meaning to something.”

  • You misunderstand me – I was only trying to correct you, not criticize your work.
  • I think I misunderstand the concept; can you explain further?

5. Misinterpret

Misinterpret is from mis- +‎ interpret. mis- is a prefix of Germanic origin affixed to nouns and verbs and meaning “bad, wrong.” Interpret is from Old French interpreter “explain; translate.” To misinterpret is to make an incorrect interpretation of something.

  • I’ll repeat myself, so you don’t misinterpret me.
  • David doesn’t understand French well, so he’ll misinterpret what you say.

Antonyms for Mistake — Exploring Words with Opposite Meanings

1. Accuracy

Accuracy is from accurate + suffix -cy. Accurate is from Latin accuratus “prepared with care, exact, elaborate.” -cy is an abstract noun suffix of quality or rank, from Latin -cia, -tia and Greek -kia, -tia. Accuracy is the state of being free from mistakes, being exact.

  • Please recheck this work for accuracy
  • Nathan carries out his duties with accuracy and precision.

2. Certainty

Certainty originates from Anglo-Norman certeinte, Old French certeinete, and Vulgar Latin *certānitās. Certainty is the state of being specific. The term connotes a fact or truth unquestionably established.

  • Jerry knew with absolute certainty that the student was lying to him.
  • We can’t say with certainty if the event will hold or not.

3. Perfection

Perfection is from Old French perfection, and Latin perfectiō. Perfection is the state of being complete and without flaws.

  • Patrick portrays a rare perfection with his poetry.
  • The dance crew performed with absolute perfection.
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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

To Wrap Up

Synonyms are words with related meanings—the natural equivalent of another. The word ‘mistake’ functions grammatically as a noun and verb. A synonym for mistake is misinterpret. Others are slip, misconceive, misread, omission and misconstrue.

With the synonyms highlighted in this article, you’re sure to craft a compelling, unique, and diverse piece of work. A thesaurus will come in handy if you need to learn more synonyms for the term.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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