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 Include the final leg of Dr. Edward Ray’s tenure amid the collateral damage of the coronavirus pandemic. oregonlive, "Canzano: Outgoing Oregon State president Dr. Edward Ray deserved a better swan song," 22 Apr. 2020 When Ahsoka’s Jedi idealism enters the conversation, Rafa and Trace tell her how their mother and father died: as collateral damage in an explosion caused by Jedi who were pursuing Ziro the Hutt. Alex Kane, USA TODAY, "The Clone Wars recap: Time for a Star Wars-style jailbreak," 3 Apr. 2020 Classes shifted online, sports were cancelled, and annual traditions that make the final weeks of high school special became collateral damage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News, "Ten senior stories: Anchorage high school grads share perspectives on finishing during a crisis-altered calendar," 2 May 2020 Mineral rights beneath the water are at the root of the debate, but anglers are collateral damage. Christine Peterson, Outdoor Life, "What’s Gained and Lost by Privatizing River Access?," 13 Apr. 2020 Liu is one of a growing number of Chinese patients with urgent medical conditions unrelated to the coronavirus epidemic who have become collateral damage as China struggles to gain control of an outbreak that’s now claimed over 2,000 lives. Time, "Hospitals in China, Overwhelmed by Coronavirus, Turn Away Patients With Other Pressing Needs," 21 Feb. 2020 Liu is one of a growing number of Chinese patients with urgent medical conditions unrelated to the coronavirus epidemic who have become collateral damage as China struggles to gain control of an outbreak that’s now claimed over 2,000 lives. Fortune, "As coronavirus cases overwhelm China’s hospitals, those with other problems are told to leave," 21 Feb. 2020 The collateral damage extends to commercial landlords. Author: Laurence Darmiento, Anchorage Daily News, "Retail thought it was facing the apocalypse. Then came the coronavirus," 7 Apr. 2020 The collateral damage extends to commercial landlords. Los Angeles Times, "Retail thought it was facing the apocalypse. Then came the coronavirus," 6 Apr. 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.

See More

First Known Use of collateral damage

1947, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about collateral damage

Time Traveler for collateral damage

Time Traveler

The first known use of collateral damage was in 1947

See more words from the same year

Statistics for collateral damage

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Collateral damage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/collateral%20damage. Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on collateral damage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for collateral damage

Comments on collateral damage

What made you want to look up collateral damage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!