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noun dam·age \ˈda-mij\

Simple Definition of damage

  • : physical harm that is done to something or to someone's body

  • : emotional harm that is done to someone

  • : problems that are caused by a mistake, wrong action, etc. : bad or harmful effects on a situation, a person's reputation, etc.

Full Definition of damage

  1. 1 :  loss or harm resulting from injury to person, property, or reputation

  2. 2 plural :  compensation in money imposed by law for loss or injury

  3. 3 :  expense, cost <“What's the damage?” he asked the waiter>

Examples of damage

  1. The items were carefully wrapped to protect them from damage during shipping.

  2. The city sustained heavy damage during the war.

  3. Fortunately the boat suffered no serious damage in the storm.

  4. The fall caused considerable damage to her knee.

  5. The disease is known to cause permanent brain damage.

  6. The scandal caused significant damage to her career.

  7. You've said enough. Please leave before you do any more damage.

  8. He tried to repair the damage by apologizing, but it was too late.

  9. He apologized, but the damage was already done.

Origin of damage

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from dan damage, from Latin damnum

First Known Use: 14th century



verb dam·age

Simple Definition of damage

  • : to physically harm (something)

  • : to cause problems in or for (something) : to have a bad effect on (a situation, a person's reputation, etc.)

Full Definition of damage


  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to cause damage to <don't damage the furniture> <returning soldiers damaged by war>

dam·age·abil·i·ty play \ˌda-mi-jə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
dam·ag·er noun

Examples of damage

  1. Please return any items that are damaged during shipping.

  2. Many homes were damaged or completely destroyed in the fire.

  3. The fall severely damaged her knee.

  4. Smoking can seriously damage your lungs.

  5. The scandal significantly damaged her career.

  6. This news will undoubtedly damage the governor's reputation.

  7. He was worried that his comments had seriously damaged their relationship.

  8. He's trying to repair his damaged reputation.

14th Century

First Known Use of damage

14th century

Synonym Discussion of damage

injure, harm, hurt, damage, impair, mar mean to affect injuriously. injure implies the inflicting of anything detrimental to one's looks, comfort, health, or success <badly injured in an accident>. harm often stresses the inflicting of pain, suffering, or loss <careful not to harm the animals>. hurt implies inflicting a wound to the body or to the feelings <hurt by their callous remarks>. damage suggests injury that lowers value or impairs usefulness <a table damaged in shipping>. impair suggests a making less complete or efficient by deterioration or diminution <years of smoking had impaired his health>. mar applies to injury that spoils perfection (as of a surface) or causes disfigurement <the text is marred by many typos>.

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February 14, 2016

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