AskDefine | Define omission

Dictionary Definition



1 a mistake resulting from neglect [syn: skip]
2 something that has been omitted; "she searched the table for omissions"
3 any process whereby sounds are left out of spoken words or phrases [syn: deletion]
4 neglecting to do something; leaving out or passing over something

User Contributed Dictionary



Originally from , omittere (literally “to send”). Post-classical Latin introduced the term omission; from the past participial stem of omittere, omiss- and the suffix -ion. This word was taken into Middle French and subsequently Anglo-Norman which heavily influenced the English language.


  1. The act of omitting.
  2. The act of neglecting to perform an action one has an obligation to do.
  3. Something deleted or left out.
  4. Something not done or neglected.
  5. The shortening of a word or phrase, using an apostrophe ( ' ) to replace the missing letters, often used to approximate the sound of speech or a specific dialect.

Usage notes

Following are common examples of omission using an apostrophe:
six o’clock (shortening of “six of the clock”)
The high school class of ’69 (shortening of “1969”)
O’er there (shortening of “over there”)
  • From Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn:
    S’pose people left money laying around where he was—what did he do? He collared it. S’pose he contracted to do a thing; and you paid him, and didn’t set down there and see that he done it—what did he do? He always done the other thing. S’pose he opened his mouth—what then? If he didn't shut it up powerful quick, he'd lose a lie, every time. That’s the kind of a bug Henry was; and if we’d ’a’ had him along ’stead of our kings, he’d ’a’ fooled that town a heap worse than ourn done.


  • Arabic:

Extensive Definition

Omission is, in Catholic teaching, the failure to do something one can and ought to do. If this happens advertently and freely a sin is committed. The degree of guilt incurred by an omission is measured like that attaching to sins of commission, by the dignity of the virtue and the magnitude of the precept to which the omission is opposed as well as the amount of deliberation.
A person may be guilty of a sin of omission by failing to do something which he is unable to do, by reason of a cause for which he is entirely responsible, as when a person knows that drinking to drunkness will incapacitate him, and yet drinks.
Paul the Apostle refers to this sin directly when he states "For I do not do the good I want..." (Romans ).

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Sisyphean labor, abbreviation, abridgment, absence, arrearage, atrocity, bad policy, balk, ban, bar, barring, beggary, bevue, blank, blockade, blue-penciling, bowdlerization, boycott, breach, break, cancellation, censoring, censorship, chasm, circumscription, crime, crime against humanity, culpa, culpable negligence, deadly sin, debarment, debarring, defalcation, default, defect, defectiveness, deficiency, deficit, deletion, delinquency, demarcation, deprivation, dereliction, destitution, disconformity, discontinuity, disregard, dropping, drought, editing, elimination, embargo, endless task, enormity, erasure, error, evil, exception, excision, excluding, exclusion, expurgation, failure, false move, false step, famine, fault, felony, gap, genocide, guilty act, heavy sin, hiatus, imperfection, impolicy, impoverishment, impropriety, inadmissibility, inadvertence, inadvertency, inattention, incompleteness, indiscretion, inexecution, inexpedience, inexpediency, inexpiable sin, iniquity, injunction, injury, injustice, inobservance, interval, laches, lack, lacuna, laissez-faire, lapse, lapsus calami, lapsus linguae, laxity, laxness, leaving out, lockout, loose ends, loose thread, looseness, maladministration, malefaction, malfeasance, malpractice, malum, minor wrong, misadministration, misconduct, miscue, misdeed, misdemeanor, misdirection, misfeasance, misgovernment, misguidance, mishandling, mismanagement, misrule, missing link, misstep, mortal sin, narrowing, need, neglect, neglectfulness, negligence, nonaccomplishment, nonachievement, nonadherence, nonadmission, noncompliance, nonconformance, nonconformity, nonconsummation, nondischarging, nonexecution, nonfeasance, nonfulfillment, noninterference, nonobservance, nonperformance, nonrestriction, offense, omitting, outage, outrage, overlook, overlooking, oversight, peccadillo, peccancy, permissiveness, poor stewardship, preclusion, preterition, procrastination, prohibition, rejection, relegation, remissness, repudiation, restriction, rough edges, shortage, shortcoming, shortfall, sin, sin of commission, sin of omission, sinful act, skip, skipping, slackness, slight, slip, slipup, starvation, striking, stumble, taboo, tort, transgression, trespass, trip, ullage, unfulfillment, unobservance, unrigorousness, unutterable sin, venial sin, want, wantage, work of Penelope, wrong, wrong step, wrongdoing
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