Definition of category mistake in English:

category mistake

Syllabification: cat·e·go·ry mis·take
(also category error)


  • The error of assigning to something a quality or action that can properly be assigned to things only of another category, for example, treating abstract concepts as though they had a physical location.
    More example sentences
    • Indeed, some opponents of temporal-parts theories contend that the theory rests on just such a category mistake - the mistake of treating persisting objects as if they were processes.
    • To apply the political term ‘authoritarian’ to an ontological account may at first seem to be a simple category mistake.
    • In the words of the philosophers, it is a category mistake to put miracles and laws in the same set.

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Pronunciation: kərf
a slit made by cutting with a saw