Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

sabotage

play
noun sab·o·tage \ˈsa-bə-ˌtäzh\

Simple Definition of sabotage

  • : the act of destroying or damaging something deliberately so that it does not work correctly

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of sabotage

  1. 1 :  destruction of an employer's property (as tools or materials) or the hindering of manufacturing by discontented workers

  2. 2 :  destructive or obstructive action carried on by a civilian or enemy agent to hinder a nation's war effort

  3. 3a :  an act or process tending to hamper or hurtb :  deliberate subversion

Examples of sabotage in a sentence

  1. Angry workers were responsible for the sabotage of the machines.

  2. Officials have not yet ruled out sabotage as a possible cause of the crash.



Origin of sabotage

French, from saboter to clatter with sabots, botch, sabotage, from sabot


First Known Use: 1910


2

sabotage

transitive verb, sab·o·tage

Simple Definition of sabotage

  • : to destroy or damage (something) deliberately so that it does not work correctly

  • : to cause the failure of (something) deliberately

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of sabotage

sabotagedsabotaging

  1. :  to practice sabotage on

Examples of sabotage in a sentence

  1. They sabotaged the enemy's oil fields.

  2. The airplane crashed because it was sabotaged.

  3. The lawyer is trying to sabotage the case by creating confusion.

  4. The deal was sabotaged by an angry employee.



1913

First Known Use of sabotage

1913


SABOTAGE Defined for Kids

1

sabotage

play
noun sab·o·tage \ˈsa-bə-ˌtäzh\

Definition of sabotage for Students

  1. :  deliberate destruction of or damage to property <Angry workers used sabotage to disable the factory's machinery.>




2

sabotage

play
verb sab·o·tage

Definition of sabotage for Students

sabotagedsabotaging

  1. :  to damage or destroy on purpose :  to engage in sabotage <The country's water supply was sabotaged by the retreating enemy.>




Law Dictionary

sabotage

play
noun sab·o·tage \ˈsa-bə-ˌtäzh\

Legal Definition of sabotage

  1. 1 :  the willful destruction of an employer's property or the hindering of normal operations by other means

  2. 2 :  the injury, destruction, or knowingly defective production of materials, premises, or utilities used for war or national defense — compare criminal syndicalism, sedition



Origin of sabotage

French, from saboter to clatter with wooden shoes, botch, sabotage, from sabot wooden shoe



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up sabotage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to dishevel or rumple

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

soothe reduce perplex disapprove
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ