Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A misplaced or awkward step.
  • noun An instance of wrong or improper conduct; a blunder.
  • intransitive verb To make a mistake.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A wrong or false step.
  • noun A mistake in conduct; an incautious or erroneous act.
  • To make a false step; stumble.
  • To make a mistake; stray.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A wrong step; an error of conduct.
  • intransitive verb To take a wrong step; to go astray.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a step that is wrong, a false step
  • noun an error or mistake
  • verb intransitive to step badly or incorrectly
  • verb intransitive to make an error or mistake

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an unintentional but embarrassing blunder

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From mis- +‎ step.

Examples

  • I'd say the biggest misstep is Virginia elected Bob McDonnell governor ....

    Apology not accepted, lawmaker says of McDonnell

  • For Joe Six-Pack America, such a misstep is no big deal.

    Social Media Obscures Line Between “on the record” and “off the record” : Law is Cool

  • When they step into the bell jar of their hotel room Edward and Florence leave all extraneous influences outside, allowing us to microscopically examine the motivations and miscommunications of these two well meaning young people in a controlled atmosphere, in which every misstep is theirs alone and their future happiness might turn on something as spontaneous and irretrievable as a single gesture.

    On Chesil Beach: Summary and book reviews of On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan.

  • You may, for instance, be right about “Open Source Media”, but your relish and glee about a perceived misstep is palpable.

    Taking the pajamas off « BuzzMachine

  • I questioned this conventional wisdom, wondering instead if the economy wouldn't drive CIOs away from the cloud, fearful that any near-term misstep could be disastrous.

    GigaOM Network

  • I questioned this conventional wisdom, wondering instead if the economy wouldn't drive CIOs away from the cloud, fearful that any near-term misstep could be disastrous.

    GigaOM

  • Or perhaps he wasn’t thinking about anything in particular and this misstep is what we can expect from a President whose limitless confidence in his own abilities is founded on a slender base of knowledge and experience.

    Asia

  • Or perhaps he wasn’t thinking about anything in particular and this misstep is what we can expect from a President whose limitless confidence in his own abilities is founded on a slender base of knowledge and experience.

    Elections 2006/2008

  • Or perhaps he wasn’t thinking about anything in particular and this misstep is what we can expect from a President whose limitless confidence in his own abilities is founded on a slender base of knowledge and experience.

    Room for India Under That Bus?

  • Or perhaps he wasn’t thinking about anything in particular and this misstep is what we can expect from a President whose limitless confidence in his own abilities is founded on a slender base of knowledge and experience.

    Stromata Blog:

Comments

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  • It's all I can do not to spell this with triple s in the middle.

    April 7, 2008

  • That would be quite a misstake.

    April 8, 2008

  • A mistake in conduct; an incautious or erroneous act.

    January 13, 2010