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 Innovation – a strategic prerequisite – is collateral damage of strategic vacuums, which is acceptable because most companies fail to innovate as well, even when – in rare instances – there’s a strategic outcome the innovation is intended to enable. Steve Andriole, Forbes, 18 Jan. 2022 The collateral damage of the incident, meanwhile, continues to grow. New York Times, 7 Dec. 2021 Companies will plead with the offending country to accommodate Beijing, as will governments whose home companies become collateral damage. Elisabeth Braw, WSJ, 6 Jan. 2022 Setting the sequel around the aftermath was a brilliant move because the collateral damage of Michael’s reign of terror has finally caught up to the rest of Haddonfield. Keaton Bell, Vogue, 14 Oct. 2021 So, everyone in West Virginia became collateral damage in the Upper East Sider’s tirade. Los Angeles Times, 21 Dec. 2021 Already lagging in covid-19 vaccinations, Africa risks becoming collateral damage in the supply wars. Washington Post, 15 Dec. 2021 It can’t be overstated that San Antonio was collateral damage in a statewide disaster. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, 21 Oct. 2021 Twenty years ago, terrorists chose a random group of Americans on a routine flight to be collateral damage in a spectacular act of terror. ABC News, 11 Sep. 2021

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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Time Traveler for collateral damage

Time Traveler

The first known use of collateral damage was in 1947

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Dictionary Entries Near collateral damage


collateral damage

collateral issue

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Statistics for collateral damage

Last Updated

25 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Collateral damage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

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