to copulate outside marriage
   Literally, to stray or wander, whence to sin generally and then specifically of copulation.
   In the 19th century an erring sister was a prostitute:
    No one knows whether the fierce moralist and respected lay preacher actually had sex with those he called his 'erring sisters'. (Parris, 1995, of Gladstone, whose practice it was to seek the company of London prostitutes at night)
   Errant describes such behaviour and gave us the perfect crossword clue, 'Where to find errant pairs (5)'. (For those who don't try to solve cryptic crosswords, errant is an indication of an anagram of pairs — Paris.)

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Err — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Para el ente público de radio y televisión de Estonia (ERR), véase Eesti Rahvusringhääling. Err Er P …   Wikipedia Español

  • Err — ([ e]r), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Erred}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Erring} (?; 277, 85).] [F. errer, L. errare; akin to G. irren, OHG. irran, v. t., irr[=o]n, v. i., OS. irrien, Sw. irra, Dan. irre, Goth, a[ i]rzjan to lead astray, airzise astray.] 1. To… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Err — * Err is the verb form of error or mistakeErr may also refer to: * Err, Pyrénées Orientales, a commune of the Pyrénées Orientales département , in southern France * Err, a character of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force animated comedy * ERR, Eesti… …   Wikipedia

  • ERR — bezeichnet: die französische Gemeinde Err, siehe Err (Pyrénées Orientales) den Piz d Err, einen Berg im Schweizer Kanton Graubünden. Die Abkürzung ERR steht für: Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg, eine Abteilung des Außenpolitischen Amtes der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • err — err; err·abil·i·ty; err·able; un·err·ing·ness; err·ing·ly; …   English syllables

  • err — ► VERB 1) be mistaken or incorrect. 2) do wrong. ● err on the side of Cf. ↑err on the side of ● to err is human, to forgive divine Cf. ↑to err is human, to forgive divine …   English terms dictionary

  • err — / er, ər/ vi: to make an error the court err ed in denying the motion Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. err …   Law dictionary

  • err — [ə: US ə:r] v [Date: 1200 1300; : Old French; Origin: errer, from [i]Latin errare] 1.) err on the side of sth to be more careful or safe than is necessary, in order to make sure that nothing bad happens ▪ It s always best to err on the side of… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • err — [ ɜr ] verb intransitive FORMAL to make a mistake, especially in a judgment or decision: The court had erred in allowing her parents to testify. err on the side of something to do more than is really necessary in order to avoid a particular… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • err — [ʉr, er] vi. [ME erren < OFr errer < L errare, to wander, go astray, err < IE * eras > RACE1, Ger irren, to err] 1. to be wrong or mistaken; fall into error 2. to deviate from the established moral code; do wrong 3. Obs. to go astray; …   English World dictionary

  • Err — Err, Piz d , Bergstock der Oberhalbsteiner Alpen (Rhätische Alpen), zwischen Rhein und Inn, 3395 m …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

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