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

But the collateral damage to growth and jobs can be reduced with income policies, which serve as a co-ordination device: when inflation is high, no one will moderate their wage claims unless everyone else does too. The Economist, "Were Mauricio Macri’s mainstream policies doomed from the start?," 14 Sep. 2019 The movie’s empathy for its leads and its wholly justified rage against the architects of financial collapse is held in check by the knowledge that every hustle has its collateral damage. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, "Jennifer Lopez is a star reborn in ‘Hustlers,’ a smart, bracing tale of strippers turned grifters," 8 Sep. 2019 The Prague-Beijing fight has had collateral damage. Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post, "China is investing in Europe — but there are strings attached," 19 Aug. 2019 Equally predictably, the white knights of outrage launch their counterassault catapults toward an overbroad range of targets and inflict extensive collateral damage. Danielle Allen, Twin Cities, "Danielle Allen: Don’t fall into Trump’s trap," 23 July 2019 The delay in setting a course for Jewish has also raised new questions about the collateral damage already beginning to a weigh on valuable academic and clinical programs operated by U of L that are housed at the hospital. Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, "Can Jewish Hospital be saved? Prospects gloomy at Louisville's 3rd largest medical facility," 13 June 2019 Perhaps the people to feel most sorry for in this arm-wrestling between the world’s two most powerful countries are the Europeans and the Japanese, who might end up as collateral damage. Washington Post, "A U.S.-China Currency War Would Do Some Serious Damage," 18 Sep. 2019 Yet as collateral damage from the trade war increases, Mr. Trump is facing pressure to relent. New York Times, "Markets Soar on News of China Talks, but Hopes for Progress Are Low," 5 Sep. 2019 American family finances could be collateral damage. NBC News, "China's currency 'weaponization' could hurt American families and companies," 9 Aug. 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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Last Updated

12 Oct 2019

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The first known use of collateral damage was in 1947

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