In ordinary usage, “accurate” and “precise” are often used as rough synonyms, but scientists like to distinguish between them. Someone could say that a snake is over a meter long and be accurate (the snake really does exceed one meter in length), but that is not a precise measurement. To be precise, the measurement would have to be more exact: the snake is 1.23 meters long. The same distinction applies in scientific contexts to the related words “accuracy” and “precision.”

List of errors