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by trial and error

Describing a method by which attempts are made to achieve some goal, and then adjustments are made based on any mistakes or failures, followed by further attempts and adjustments until the goal is achieved. Rather than doing things by trial and error, you should really read the manual before trying to fix your engine.
See also: and, by, error, trial

comedy of errors

A situation or series of events characterized by a number of humorous or ridiculous mix-ups, mishaps, or blunders. Taken from one of Shakespeare's early comedies, The Comedy of Errors. Their business was a comedy of errors by the end, with orders constantly being confused, employees arriving at the wrong time, and the financial accounts being all over the place. The story is a delightful comedy of errors, in which every sort of mistake and confusion that can arise does—with everything working out just fine in the end, of course.
See also: comedy, error, of

errors and omissions excepted

Used as a legal disclaimer for situations in which the information presented at a particular moment in time may be inaccurate or unreliable at another point in time. Primarily heard in UK. This website is for informative purposes only. It should not be used in lieu of proper legal advice. Errors and omissions excepted. For more information about our product, please visit our website. Note that certain details may change without notice. Errors and omissions excepted.
See also: and, error, except

fall into error

To begin to misbehave. When I went off to college, I fell into error—that's why I've moved back home now.
See also: error, fall

in error

Mistakenly or by accident. My apologies, I sent you that document in error. So I just found out that the doctor's office called me in error—I'm so relieved!
See also: error

rounding error

1. The difference between an exact mathematical value and the value that is approximated during a calculation or computation in which rounding occurs. So many of the values we have to use in these calculations have decimals that extend to an infinite length that rounding errors are simply unavoidable. It may seem like we leave a very large rounding error when we use 3.14159 as the value for pi, but in most instances it will give us a result that it accurate enough for our purposes.
2. A figure that is or seems large in isolation but is relatively small or immaterial to a large company. The settlement of $300,000 is little more than a rounding error to a global corporation that earns billions of dollars each year. I'm nervous about asking for a raise, but I'm trying to tell myself that it is just a rounding error in the company's eyes.
See also: error, round

schoolboy error

A very simple, basic, or fundamental mistake or error. Primarily heard in UK. Thanks to a schoolboy error by their opponents' keeper, the football club will advance to the next round of the tourney. The math textbook had to be reprinted after several schoolboy errors were discovered in some of the equations.
See also: error, schoolboy

see the error of (one's) ways

To realize that one has been wrong and/or has behaved poorly. I'm afraid it took me too long to see the error of my ways. But it's not too late for you. He'll never see the error of his ways if he keeps being rewarded for the bad decisions he's made.
See also: error, of, see, way

the error of (one's) ways

What has been wrong, hurtful, or unfair about one's behavior or way of life. He'll never see the error of his ways if he keeps being rewarded for the bad decisions he's made. I'm afraid it took me too long to realize the error of my ways. But it's not too late for you.
See also: error, of, way

trial and error

A process of determining the correct way in which to do something by making multiple attempts and learning from any possible failures or mistakes. Hyphenated if used as a modifier before a noun. I didn't have any instructions for reassembling the machine, so it was just a case of trial and error until I got it right. You take a trial-and-error approach to this issue—we need to make sure we get it right the first time!
See also: and, error, trial
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

rounding error

a large amount of money that is relatively small in comparison to a much larger sum. To a large company like Smith & Co., a few thousand dollars is just a rounding error. It's not a lot at all.
See also: error, round

trial and error

trying repeatedly for success. I finally found the right key after lots of trial and error. Sometimes trial and error is the only way to get something done.
See also: and, error, trial
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

comedy of errors

A complex or humorous series of events, as in Mary and John went to the Smiths', while the Smiths went to the Parkers', and the Parkers wondered why no one answered the door at John and Mary's-a true comedy of errors . The term borrows the title of Shakespeare's play, The Comedy of Errors, about two sets of twin brothers, master and slave, who are separated in infancy, and the mix-ups occurring when they arrive in the same place many years later. [c. 1600]
See also: comedy, error, of

fall into

1. Enter or engage in, be drawn into, as in I told Dad not to fall into conversation with them. [Late 1400s]
2. See fall in, def. 1.
3. Be naturally divisible into, as in These students fall into three categories. [First half of 1600s]
4. fall into error or sin . Be drawn into bad behavior, as in I fell into error when I started spending time with the wrong crowd. This usage, like fall from grace, originally alluded to religious concerns. It is now used less often and more loosely. [Late 1100s]
5. fall into a trap. Be deceived, unknowingly become involved in something. For example, By admitting I had free time, I fell into the trap of having to help him with his work . Also see under fall in; fall in line; fall in place.
See also: fall

trial and error

An attempt to accomplish something by trying various means until the correct one is found. for example, The only way to solve this problem is by trial and error. The error here alludes to the failed means or attempts, which are discarded until the right way is found. [c. 1800]
See also: and, error, trial
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

see the error of your ways

COMMON If you see the error of your ways, you realise that you have behaved badly and start to understand how you can do better. I wanted an opportunity to talk some sense into him and try to make him see the error of his ways. Note: You can also say that you realise the error of your ways. It took him a long time, he says, to realise the error of his ways. Note: You can also point out or show someone the error of their ways. He only responded when his players pointed out the error of his ways. But I firmly believe that many of these conservatives can be shown the error of their ways.
See also: error, of, see, way
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

trial and error

the process of experimenting with various methods of doing something until you find the most successful.
See also: and, error, trial
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

the ˌerror of your ˈways

(formal or humorous) what is wrong and should be changed about the kind of life you are leading: While he was in prison, a social worker visited him in an attempt to make him see the error of his ways.
See also: error, of, way

by ˌtrial and ˈerror

trying different ways of doing something until you find the right one: I didn’t know how to use the camera at first, so I had to learn by trial and error.
See also: and, by, error, trial
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

fall into

1. To descend or drop freely or effortlessly into something: I was so tired that I went to my bedroom and fell into bed.
2. To come to assume a configuration, pattern, or order: The lines of text fell into neat rows. After a quick meeting, our plans fell into place.
3. To come upon, receive, or become involved with something, especially by chance: They fell into a lot of money unexpectedly, so they bought a new car.
4. To undergo a change of state or emotion, especially a negative change: I took one look at my class schedule and fell into a bad mood. The tenants complained when the apartment building fell into disrepair.
See also: fall
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

comedy of errors

A ludicrous event or sequence of events: The candidate's campaign turned out to be a political comedy of errors.
See also: comedy, error, of
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
We know that usual errorless reconstruction formulas depend only on the power support in the canonical sampling problem.
Ordonez went errorless from June 14 through October 4.
Boston's team errorless streak ended in the first inning when McDonald misplayed Miguel Olivo's hard shot off the wall.
And behind them, the Beavers (27-7 overall, 3-4 in the Pac-10) were not only errorless in the field but making plays to take potential hits away from the Bears (17-18, 2-5).
The softball team played an errorless game, but lost 6-2 to Leominster in its season opener.
He stole 49 bases during his career and did not commit an error in the outfield during his first three seasons as he began his career by playing 241 errorless games to set a National League record at the time.
It was Youkilis' first error as a first baseman since the second game of the 2009 season; he had played 137 straight errorless games at that position before last night.
They played errorless in the field, and that hardly says how good they were defensively.
Cougar pitchers were supported by errorless defense.
They have an errorless streak of seven games, their longest since going nine in a row without an error from June 4-13, 2009.
Tigard 14, South Eugene 3: The Tigers jumped on two Axemen pitchers for 16 hits and played errorless ball to get the win.
The Saints also flashed some leather in the field with an errorless performance that included Pat Griffin's spectacular diving catch on a line drive to left-center to lead off the bottom of the first, Schroeder's spin-and-throw on a play to his left to open the second, Jack Jordan's scoop at first base and Charlie Charpentier's running grab of a fly ball near the bullpen in the fourth.
The Red Sox went into the night with a 10-game errorless streak in postseason play.
He has also played errorless defense over that stretch.
"Our boys again did a really nice job focusing on the important parts of our game, playing nearly errorless in the first set," Libertyville coach Jenny Smith said.
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