damage

noun
dam·​age | \ ˈda-mij How to pronounce damage (audio) \

Definition of damage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : loss or harm resulting from injury to person, property, or reputation flood damage sustained severe damage to her knee
2 damages plural : compensation in money imposed by law for loss or injury The judge awarded them $5,000 in damages.
3 : expense, cost "What's the damage?" he asked the waiter

damage

verb
damaged; damaging

Definition of damage (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cause damage (see damage entry 1 sense 1) to don't damage the furniture returning soldiers damaged by war

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Other Words from damage

Verb

damageability \ ˌda-​mi-​jə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce damageability (audio) \ noun
damager noun

Choose the Right Synonym for damage

Verb

injure, harm, hurt, damage, impair, mar mean to affect injuriously. injure implies the inflicting of anything detrimental to one's looks, comfort, health, or success. badly injured in an accident harm often stresses the inflicting of pain, suffering, or loss. careful not to harm the animals hurt implies inflicting a wound to the body or to the feelings. hurt by their callous remarks damage suggests injury that lowers value or impairs usefulness. a table damaged in shipping impair suggests a making less complete or efficient by deterioration or diminution. years of smoking had impaired his health mar applies to injury that spoils perfection (as of a surface) or causes disfigurement. the text is marred by many typos

Examples of damage in a Sentence

Noun

The items were carefully wrapped to protect them from damage during shipping. The city sustained heavy damage during the war. Fortunately the boat suffered no serious damage in the storm. The fall caused considerable damage to her knee. The disease is known to cause permanent brain damage. The scandal caused significant damage to her career. You've said enough. Please leave before you do any more damage. He tried to repair the damage by apologizing, but it was too late. He apologized, but the damage was already done.

Verb

Please return any items that are damaged during shipping. Many homes were damaged or completely destroyed in the fire. The fall severely damaged her knee. Smoking can seriously damage your lungs. The scandal significantly damaged her career. This news will undoubtedly damage the governor's reputation. He was worried that his comments had seriously damaged their relationship. He's trying to repair his damaged reputation.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The suit said the plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages and punitive damages. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Florida family says lax supervision led to assault at St. John's Northwestern Military Academy. Now they're suing.," 16 July 2019 Oakley then filed a civil lawsuit seeking damages for defamation, battery, false imprisonment. Charlotte Carroll, SI.com, "Charles Oakley Grades Knicks Says They Have No 'A' Players," 16 July 2019 The storm is expected to inflict the most damage on Louisiana and parts of Mississippi, with wind and rain affecting more than 3 million people. Fox News, "Barry makes landfall in Louisiana after weakening back to tropical storm," 13 July 2019 The couple are now seeking monetary damages in their lawsuit, accusing Perry of excessive force and false arrest. Ryan Martin, Indianapolis Star, "Unarmed man shot in back by IMPD officer settles lawsuit for millions," 11 July 2019 The couple are seeking punitive and compensatory damages. Giulia Mcdonnell Nieto Del Rio, latimes.com, "Couple says their embryo was implanted into wrong woman. They had to fight to get their son," 11 July 2019 Globefill doesn’t want Matatena to use the bottle anymore and is seeking damages, attorneys’ fees and a jury trial. Tracy Swartz, chicagotribune.com, "Dan Aykroyd’s vodka company suing Mexican tequila maker, Palatine importer over skull bottle design," 10 July 2019 However, that would result in a much smaller pool of customers who could seek damages. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "T-Mobile says it can’t be sued by users because of forced-arbitration clause," 9 July 2019 In another, Scarlett Lewis seeks damages because of the false narrative promoted on Infowars, with stories mocking her and other parents of victims as liars. Susan Svrluga, BostonGlobe.com, "Now, the parents of Newtown are fighting back," 8 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The implants could repair bones damaged by car accidents, combat, aging, cancer or any other number of traumas or birth defects. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "How Scientists Are Using Eggshells to Grow New Bone," 18 July 2019 Tens of thousands in Fort Lauderdale and portions of surrounding cities will be out of water into Friday after a major water main was damaged by a contractor. Aric Chokey, sun-sentinel.com, "Map: Which areas are affected by the Fort Lauderdale water outage?," 18 July 2019 Notably, the Loblolly Pine at the White House didn't survive, and trees in New Orleans and Orlando, damaged by hurricanes, later needed to be removed. Casey Smith, Indianapolis Star, "Across Indiana, trees are growing from seeds that went to the Moon. Here's where you can find them.," 17 July 2019 One of those women may be damaged by brain injury and unable to speak, but there is still enough care to keep the flame alive. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Lila Savage’s Say Say Say Is a Breakthrough in Women’s Fiction," 16 July 2019 Crews from Southern California Gas were at the home fixing a natural gas line that was reported damaged by a contractor working on the house. Leah Asmelash And Cheri Mossburg, CNN, "One dead and 15 injured in house explosion in California," 15 July 2019 Authorities with the Hawaii National Guard said eight 20-foot shipping containers that are used to store equipment outside of the Pu'unene Armory have been damaged by the wildfire, NBC affiliate KHNL reported. Phil Helsel, NBC News, "As crews battle Maui brush fire, second blaze breaks out," 13 July 2019 Mary Forgione offers a look at some unusual treatments (all imaginary) of the Paris landmark, which was damaged by fire in April. Catharine Hamm, latimes.com, "Escapes: A UNESCO site for L.A., in recognition of Frank Lloyd Wright’s genius," 11 July 2019 Once ruled by Nebuchadnezzar (of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego fame in Christianity and Judaism), the city isn’t quite its shining self any more, with many of its ruins left unexcavated and those existing damaged by the region’s conflicts. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "UNESCO's Newest World Heritage Sites, in Photos," 11 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word '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 damage

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for damage

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from dan damage, from Latin damnum — see damn entry 1

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Statistics for damage

Last Updated

20 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for damage

The first known use of damage was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for damage

damage

noun

English Language Learners Definition of damage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: physical harm that is done to something or to someone's body
: emotional harm that is done to someone
: problems that are caused by a mistake, wrong action, etc. : bad or harmful effects on a situation, a person's reputation, etc.

damage

verb

English Language Learners Definition of damage (Entry 2 of 2)

: to physically harm (something)
: to cause problems in or for (something) : to have a bad effect on (a situation, a person's reputation, etc.)

damage

noun
dam·​age | \ ˈda-mij How to pronounce damage (audio) \

Kids Definition of damage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : loss or harm caused by injury to a person's body or property How much damage was done to the car?
2 damages plural : money demanded or paid according to law for injury or damage The jury awarded $50,000 in damages.

damage

verb
damaged; damaging

Kids Definition of damage (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cause harm or loss to

damage

noun
dam·​age

Legal Definition of damage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : loss or harm resulting from injury to person, property, or reputation
2  plural : the money awarded to a party in a civil suit as reparation for the loss or injury for which another is liable — see also additur, cover, mitigate, remittitur — compare declaratory judgment at judgment sense 1a, injunction, specific performance at performance

Note: The trier of fact determines the amount of damages to be awarded to the prevailing party. More than one type of damages may be awarded for a single injury.

actual damages
: damages deemed to compensate the injured party for losses sustained as a direct result of the injury suffered

called also compensatory damages

consequential damages
: special damages in this entry
direct damages
: damages for a loss that is an immediate, natural, and foreseeable result of the wrongful act — compare special damages in this entry
exemplary damages \ ig-​ˈzem-​plə-​rē-​ \
: punitive damages in this entry
expectation damages
: damages recoverable for breach of contract and designed to put the injured party in the position he or she would have been in had the contract been completed

called also expectancy damages

general damages
1 : damages for a loss that is the natural, foreseeable, and logical result of a wrongful act — compare special damages in this entry
2 : damages for losses (as pain and suffering, inconvenience, or loss of lifestyle) whose monetary values are difficult to assign
hedonic damages \ hi-​ˈdä-​nik-​ \
: damages deemed to compensate for the loss of enjoyment of life resulting from a wrongful act

Note: Hedonic damages are not recognized in all jurisdictions.

incidental damages
: damages recoverable under section 2-715 of the Uniform Commercial Code in breach of contract cases for losses that include expenses incurred in handling and caring for goods which were the subject of the contract, reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining cover, and any other reasonable expenses resulting from the breach that do not fall into any other category
liquidated damages
: damages whose amount is agreed upon by the parties to a contract as adequately compensating for loss in the event of a breach

called also stipulated damages

Note: Liquidated damages in an amount exceeding that needed to reasonably compensate the injured party constitute a penalty and are therefore void.

moratory damages
in the civil law of Louisiana : damages recoverable for loss resulting from an obligor's delay in performing

Note: Compensatory damages are recoverable in a case of failure to perform.

nominal damages
: damages awarded in a small amount (as one dollar) in cases in which a party has been injured but no loss resulted from the injury or in which the injured party failed to prove that loss resulted from the injury
presumed damages
: damages that are presumed under the law to result naturally and necessarily from a tortious act and that therefore do not require proof
punitive damages
: damages awarded in cases of serious or malicious wrongdoing to punish or deter the wrongdoer or deter others from behaving similarly

called also exemplary damages, smart money

special damages
: damages awarded in an amount deemed to compensate for losses that arise not as a natural result of the injury but because of some particular circumstance of the injured party specifically : damages relating to a business, profession, or property that are easily calculable in monetary terms

called also consequential damages

— compare direct damages in this entry general damages in this entry

Note: Because special damages do not arise in every case, they must be specifically requested in the pleadings. This is an issue of particular importance in cases of harm to reputation, such as slander, libel, and malicious prosecution.

stipulated damages
in the civil law of Louisiana : liquidated damages in this entry
treble damages \ ˈtre-​bəl-​ \
: damages awarded in an amount that is three times the amount for which the trier of fact finds the wrongdoer liable

Note: Treble damages are recoverable where authorized by statute and are usually imposed as a punishment.

3  plural : losses for which damages are recoverable did not incur damages, because he was unlikely to win the foreclosure case— Rosalind Resnick

damage

adjective

Legal Definition of damage (Entry 2 of 2)

: of or relating to damages a damage action a damage remedy

History and Etymology for damage

Noun

Old French, from dam injury, harm, from Latin damnum financial loss, fine

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More from Merriam-Webster on damage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for damage

Spanish Central: Translation of damage

Nglish: Translation of damage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of damage for Arabic Speakers

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