collateral damage


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

Companies like Apple or General Motors, which sells more cars in China than in the United States, could become collateral damage in a trade war. David J. Lynch,, "Popularity of tariffs on China may lead to political pain for Trump," 23 June 2018 The campus had been convulsed by the revelations of the actions perpetrated by Nassar and by the collateral damage, including the resignation of the school’s longtime president. Susan Svrluga, Washington Post, "After the Nassar sentencing, a silent reckoning at Michigan State," 26 Jan. 2018 There most certainly will be collateral damage, including many manufacturers and particularly all consumers, who will pay more. Phillip Molnar,, "Can the U.S. economy withstand a trade war?," 13 July 2018 Yet the collateral damage for the Democrats was massive, and enduring. Neil Swidey,, "How Democrats would be better off if Bill Clinton had never been president," 10 July 2018 When the mission goes off-course, CIA deputy director Cynthia Foards (Catherine Keener) sees Isabel as collateral damage, and Graver gives Alejandro the order to take her out. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Review: 'Sicario' gets a grim but timely sequel in 'Day of the Soldado'," 27 June 2018 The bomb’s small size reduces collateral damage and would allow the Reaper to achieve more kills or attack strikes per mission, Air Force officials said. Fox News, "Air Force expands mission for Reaper attack drones, adds new weapons," 28 June 2018 Authorities are unsure about where and when the couple were exposed to the nerve agent, but believe their illness may be collateral damage from the Skripal poisoning. Ciara Nugent, Time, "'There Will Be Severe Pain.' What to Know About the New Novichok Nerve Agent Poisoning in the U.K.," 5 July 2018 This is the collateral damage of addiction, the impact on those who love and worry about the addict. Alexandra Rockey Fleming,, "Opioid addiction and overdoses in children devastate their parents," 3 July 2018

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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Last Updated

9 Nov 2018

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The first known use of collateral damage was in 1947

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to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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