Definition of mistake in English:

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Pronunciation: /məˈstāk/


1An action or judgment that is misguided or wrong: coming here was a mistake she made the mistake of thinking they were important
More example sentences
  • The simple truth is that terrible mistakes have been made.
  • People with great SAT scores go on to make the same stupid mistakes in their lives that we all make.
  • The danger in Iraq is repeating the biggest mistake - yielding to gradualism.
error, fault, inaccuracy, omission, slip, blunder, miscalculation, misunderstanding, oversight, misinterpretation, gaffe, faux pas, solecism;
slip of the tongue, eggcorn
informal slip-up, boo-boo, blooper, boner, goof, flub
go wrong, err, make an error, blunder, miscalculate
informal slip up, make a boo-boo, drop the ball, goof (up)
1.1Something, especially a word, figure, or fact, that is not correct; an inaccuracy: a couple of spelling mistakes
More example sentences
  • The retyping explains the spelling, and also explains how a couple of spelling mistakes were introduced.
  • I'll upload the photos and correct my spelling and grammar mistakes tomorrow.
  • I don't want to see any more forgotten corners or misspelled words or mistakes!

verb (past mistook; past participle mistaken)

[with object]
1Be wrong about: because I was inexperienced, I mistook the nature of our relationship
More example sentences
  • The marshal mistook the message, thinking the emperor wanted to sweep the whole province.
  • But he later denied the reports, saying the media mistook his remarks in a meeting with the leader.
  • You were rude to him, and I do think you mistook his motives.
misunderstand, misinterpret, get wrong, misconstrue, misread
be wrong, be in error, be under a misapprehension, be misinformed, be misguided
informal be barking up the wrong tree
1.1 (mistake someone/something for) Wrongly identify someone or something as: she thought he’d mistaken her for someone else
More example sentences
  • Mind you, people are often mistaking me for someone else.
  • People often mistook it for a girl's name.
  • As I said above, people often mistake me for a 16 year old, even though I'm 25.
confuse with, mix up with, take for, misinterpret as



and no mistake

informal, dated Without any doubt: it’s a bad business and no mistake
More example sentences
  • I'll not be voting for him next month and no mistake.
  • Gosh, that Kylie's a naughty one, and no mistake.
  • Well, today's been a peculiar one, and no mistake.

by mistake

Accidentally; in error: she’d left her purse at home by mistake
More example sentences
  • In other words, I accidentally clicked on it by mistake while pasting it in, before getting up to grab a book from a shelf.
  • Going home from work in Oxford last night I accidentally got on the Bristol train by mistake.
  • Officials in Australia admit the passports were returned by mistake.

make no mistake (about it)

informal Do not be deceived into thinking otherwise.
Example sentences
  • This is a serious football team and make no mistake about that!
  • But make no mistake about it, we support Israel.
  • And make no mistake about it, this nation is sad.

there is no mistaking someone or something

It is impossible not to recognize someone or something: there was no mistaking her sincerity
More example sentences
  • The girls are not identical, but there is no mistaking them for twins with their similar frames and blonde hair.
  • They are few and small, only two inches in diameter, but there is no mistaking them.
  • I have never heard my grandfather's herald voice before, but there is no mistaking it.



Pronunciation: /məˈstākəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • His novels frequently star fanciable middle-aged men easily mistakable for the author's alter-egos, legends in their own fleeces, their lives curious crossbreeds of the dashing and the banal.
  • With the Nikon, she's poetic, warm, sad, excellent, but mistakable for someone else.
  • It's a five-door hatchback, potentially mistakeable for as many as 730 other currently available five-door hatchbacks.


Pronunciation: /-əblē/
Example sentences
  • The other solution, which I've mentioned before, is that Larson and Pierre never appeared in the Rome adventure, and were wrongly ‘chronicled’ by Lara's professor-friend, instead of two rivals who just so happened to have very mistakeably similar names.


Late Middle English (as a verb): from Old Norse mistaka 'take in error', probably influenced in sense by Old French mesprendre.

Words that rhyme with mistake

ache, awake, bake, betake, Blake, brake, break, cake, crake, drake, fake, flake, forsake, hake, Jake, lake, make, opaque, partake, quake, rake, sake, shake, sheikh, slake, snake, splake, stake, steak, strake, take, undertake, wake, wideawake

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mis·take

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