collateral damage

noun

Definition of collateral damage

: injury inflicted on something other than an intended target specifically : civilian casualties of a military operation

Examples of collateral damage in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Most in the media will trumpet the wage-increase progress, not the hard-to-measure collateral damage. WSJ, "The $15 Minimum Wage and Restaurants," 28 June 2019 While President Donald Trump correctly called off the strike against Iran last week over collateral damage concerns, the US warships in the Gulf remain at the highest state of readiness and combat alert. James Stavridis, Time, "On Watch in the Arabian Gulf: What the U.S. Navy Faces Against Iran," 25 June 2019 When demanding action against PG&E, consider the collateral damage. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: With action against PG&E, consider collateral damage," 21 June 2019 Pentagon lawyers are typically involved in casualty and collateral damage estimates, charged with considering the worst possible outcome. Peter Baker, New York Times, "Urged to Launch an Attack, Trump Listened to the Skeptics Who Said It Would Be a Costly Mistake," 21 June 2019 That created pandemonium online, with millions of Russian users suffering collateral damage. Fred Weir, The Christian Science Monitor, "A Great Firewall of Russia? Kremlin puts key bricks into place.," 2 May 2019 So Beijing would need to choke off exports of products made with rare earths, too, a broader embargo that would probably claim other countries - and Chinese factory workers - as collateral damage. David J. Lynch, Anchorage Daily News, "China hints it will choke off U.S. ‘rare earths’ access. But it’s not that easy.," 11 June 2019 So Beijing would need to choke off exports of products made with rare earths, too, a broader embargo that would probably claim other countries — and Chinese factory workers — as collateral damage. David J. Lynch, Washington Post, "China hints it will choke off U.S. ‘rare earths’ access. But it’s not that easy.," 10 June 2019 Evidence in the case exposes the U.S. government’s single-minded but self-defeating drug-war agenda that treats Mr. Arias as collateral damage. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "A One-Sided Treaty With Colombia," 3 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'collateral damage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of collateral damage

1947, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for collateral damage

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for collateral damage

The first known use of collateral damage was in 1947

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