Define: Mistake

Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Mistake


Full Definition of Mistake

Mistake means misconception, error. Mistake is where a man intending to do a lawful act does, by reason of ignorance of fact, something which is unlawful. A mistake, remediable in equity, is defined to be an act which would not have been done, or an omission which would not have occurred, but from ignorance, forgetfulness, inadvertence, mental incompetence surprise, misplaced confidence, or imposition.

Mistake is either of law or fact; when of law it is not, in general, any ground for relief in equity, the maxim ignorant juris neminen excusat being applicable to that class of mistake, but the maxim is excluded where the mistake of law is so egregious as to suggest imbecility, or when it is accompanied with imposition. When the mistake is a mistake of fact, and the fact is a material one to the contact, and it was not through any negligence of the mistaking party that it was overlooked or miss appreciated, then the mistake is almost invariably a ground or relief in equity.


Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Mistake. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. April 08, 2020
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Mistake. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: April 08, 2020).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Mistake. Retrieved April 08, 2020, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Mistake are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 18th March, 2020