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 But both Republicans and Democrats were eager to claim credit for doing something, and the hope is that this will at least help some consumers who were collateral damage in a fight between doctors and insurers. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Surprise! A Health Lobby Cage Match," 30 Dec. 2020 The central bank says that cash remittances are just 1% of total remittances and don’t justify the collateral damage the bill might cause. Matthew Bristow,, "Mexico Central Bank Wins Respite on Law It’s Trying to Block," 13 Dec. 2020 Coyle's effort to explain the cuts as collateral damage of the COVID-19 pandemic left, at best, a vague impression of cause and effect. Editorial Board Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "More clarity is needed on U's decision to cut sports," 18 Dec. 2020 And keep in mind, when the tables turn, collateral damage is inevitable. Mellody Hobson And John W. Rogers Jr., WSJ, "How to Understand This Crazy Year in Investing—and What to Do Now," 11 Dec. 2020 However, if Africa has escaped the worst of the pandemic in health terms, the same cannot be said of Covid-19's economic impact, where the collateral damage has been huge. Tony Blair For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "The pandemic could push 49 million Africans into extreme poverty. Here's how other countries can help," 27 Oct. 2020 But if there has to be a second round of them in some places, experts say there are smarter ways to institute them, based on the knowledge now of where the virus spreads most prolifically and how to minimize the collateral damage. Andrew Joseph, STAT, "‘They’re not really doing anything’: As Covid-19 cases spiral, leaders around the U.S. lose urgency on prevention," 9 Nov. 2020 Dean’s death is one more sharp and sad reminder that the victims of the virus aren’t just political talking points, that these are not just numbers to put up on a screen and dismiss as collateral damage. Ann Killion,, "Remembering a 49ers legend: How Fred Dean’s arrival in S.F. launched a dynasty," 15 Oct. 2020 Trump also may have a motive for his environmental policies — enriching timber companies and the oil and gas industry, despoliation of the environment being merely collateral damage. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Brace yourself for Trump’s scorched-earth attacks on health and safety," 25 Nov. 2020

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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Statistics for collateral damage

Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Collateral damage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jan. 2021.

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