err on the side of (something)

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err on the side of (something)

To prioritize something, perhaps excessively or unnecessarily. Often used in the phrase "err on the side of caution." I like to err on the side of caution and always keep some money in my savings account.
See also: err, of, on, side

err on the side of

act with a specified bias towards something.
1999 Nature Der Sündefall's message may err on the side of alarmism, but it certainly is a good read.
See also: err, of, on, side

err on the side of something

show slightly too much rather than too little of a quality, especially a good one: When I am marking exam papers, I always try to err on the side of generosity (= I give slightly higher marks than the students may deserve).
Err is an old-fashioned word meaning ‘make a mistake’.
See also: err, of, on, side, something
References in periodicals archive ?
He just errs on the side of aggression, which, if you're going to err on one side of the other, is where you want him to err on.