mistake

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an honest mistake

A mistake made unintentionally or unknowingly and without the intention of causing harm; a mistake that anyone might have made in similar circumstances. It was an honest mistake! How was I to know that you wouldn't want me to send that letter with the rest of the mail?
See also: honest, mistake

by mistake

in error; accidentally. I'm sorry. I came into the wrong room by mistake. I chose the wrong road by mistake. Now we are lost.
See also: mistake

If you don't make mistakes, you don't make anything.

Prov. If you try to do something, you will likely make mistakes.; The only way to make no mistakes is to avoid trying to do anything. (Can be used to console someone who has made a mistake.) Alan: I'm sorry there's no dessert. I tried to make a cake, but I messed it up. Jane: That's OK, dear; if you don't make mistakes, you don't make anything. It's a shame that you ruined the sweater you were making, but if you don't make mistakes, you don't make anything.
See also: anything, if, make

make a mistake

to commit an error; to do something wrong accidentally. I made a mistake and I am really sorry about it.
See also: make, mistake

Make no mistake (about it)!

Inf. Do not be mistaken! You can be certain. Sally: I'm very angry with you! Make no mistake about it! Fred: Whatever it's about, I'm sorry. Clerk: Make no mistake, this is the finest carpet available. Sally: I'd like something a little less fine, I think.
See also: make

mistake (someone) for (someone else)

 and mix (someone) up with (someone else)
to confuse someone with someone else; to think that one person is another person. I'm sorry. I mistook you for John. Tom is always mistaking Bill for me. We don't look a thing alike, though. Try not to mix Bill up with Bob, his twin.
See also: mistake

mistake (something) for (something else)

 and mix (something) up with (something else)
to confuse two things with each other. Please don't mix this idea up with that one. I mistook my book for yours.
See also: mistake

mix someone up with someone else Go to mistake someone for someone

else.
See also: else, mistake, mix, up

mix something up with something else Go to mistake something for something

else.
See also: else, mistake, mix, up

by mistake

without intending to I'm sorry – I dialed your number by mistake.
See also: mistake

make no mistake (about it)

do not imagine that I am wrong Make no mistake, any violence against an individual is an act of terror. They are in control of the business, make no mistake about it.
See also: make, mistake

mistake somebody/something for somebody/something

to think that a person or thing is really someone or something else The prison buildings could almost be mistaken for a college campus.
See also: mistake

by mistake

Erroneously, as in He took my coat by mistake. [c. 1700]
See also: mistake

make no mistake

Have no doubt, certainly, as in Make no mistake-I'll vote Republican no matter who runs. [Mid-1800s] Also see get someone wrong.
See also: make, mistake

mistake for

Take someone or something for someone or something else, as in I'm sorry, I mistook you for her sister, or Don't mistake that friendly smile for good intentions; he's a tough competitor. [c. 1600]
See also: mistake

mistake for

v.
To wrongly perceive that someone or something is someone or something else: I'm sorry to have bothered you—I mistook you for a friend of mine. Don't mistake the poison ivy for a box elder vine!
See also: mistake

Make no mistake (about it)!

sent. an expression signifying the sincerity of the speaker’s previous statements. Make no mistake! This is the real thing.
See also: make, mistake

Make no mistake !

verb
See also: make
References in classic literature ?
In the course of the day, they saw something moving on the bank among the trees, which they mistook for game of some kind; and, being in want of provisions, pulled toward shore.
No, for you mistook your aunt's wishes, it seems: she desires to go--but then all the loveliness of the act was yours.
The pencil is conscious of a delightful facility in drawing a griffin--the longer the claws, and the larger the wings, the better; but that marvellous facility which we mistook for genius is apt to forsake us when we want to draw a real unexaggerated lion.
The enormous knees of the physician struck each other with a noise that was audible; for, in the absent state of his mind, he mistook her for a general officer, perforated with bullets, hastening from the field of battle to implore assistance.
I mistrusted 'twould do you sights o' good; an' this shows I weren't mistook in my jedgments.
This word, which the serjeant unhappily mistook for an affront,