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 damage (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 Amid the damage is an untold number of cancers that went undiagnosed or untreated as patients postponed annual screenings, and as cancer clinics and hospitals suspended biopsies and chemotherapy and radiation treatments. ProPublica, "Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander," 9 May 2021 And just like with the virus itself, the psychological damage won’t be borne equally. Andrew Joseph, STAT, "As the Covid-19 crisis ebbs in the U.S., experts brace for some to experience psychological fallout," 9 May 2021 While Fuller closed out the game without giving up any more hits or runs, the damage was already done. Giana Han, al, "Auburn baseball loses second game, series to LSU," 8 May 2021 Both sides limited the damage for most of the contest. BostonGlobe.com, "Cassidy Machado, Middleborough softball step up to the challenge, blank Bridgewater-Raynham," 8 May 2021 This presents a challenge if the information being offered up as factual turns out to be incorrect or misleading, because there is growing research that suggests the damage may be done and hard to correct. Gabriel A. Silva, Forbes, "How Your Brain Makes Decisions Impacts How It Evaluates (Mis)Information," 8 May 2021 Your insurer will assign a claim number and send an adjuster to assess the damage. Doug Sibor Nerdwallet, Star Tribune, "6 tips to streamline insurance payment on home damage claims," 8 May 2021 Due to the extensive damage, doctors amputated all Linda's fingers on her left hand and part of her fingers on the right hand. Bethany Hines, CNN, "As a girl, sewing helped her recover from hand burns. Now her designs grace red carpets and runways," 7 May 2021 Given the historic economic damage inflicted by the pandemic on both workers and employers, the recovery is starting from a very low base, with lots of room for improvement. Don Lee, Los Angeles Times, "Why April’s disappointing jobs report may not be so bad for Biden," 7 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Meanwhile, if pieces of the Long March rocket do damage anything on the surface, China would be liable under the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, Autry said. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, "China's loosely regulated rocket debris could be dangerous - and harmful to US industry," 8 May 2021 Recurrent power outages are a longstanding issue in West Virginia, where trees weighed down by ice frequently damage electric infrastructure. NBC News, "West Virginia utility companies have spent millions to mitigate power outages. Why do they keep happening?," 6 May 2021 The underlying mechanisms stoking new-onset diabetes aren’t clear, though some doctors suspect the SARS-CoV-2 virus may damage the pancreas, the gland that makes insulin which is needed to convert blood-sugar into energy. Jason Gale, Fortune, "‘Hard to believe’: Scientists alarmed by COVID’s diabetes link, particularly in children," 5 May 2021 Left untreated, the disease can progress and damage your joints or spread to other tissues in your body, including your heart, lungs, eyes, kidneys, and blood vessels. Amy Marturana Winderl, SELF, "6 Signs Your Rheumatoid Arthritis Is Progressing," 4 May 2021 Having the recipe for a vaccine does not mean a drugmaker could produce it, certainly not quickly, and opponents argue that such a move would harm innovation and entrepreneurship — and damage America’s pharmaceutical industry. New York Times, "Pressure Mounts to Lift Patent Protections on Coronavirus Vaccines," 3 May 2021 Chemical fertilizers provide a quick food fix with no benefit to the soil and can burn and damage the plant. Rita Perwich, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Just how fertile is your rose-growing knowledge?," 1 May 2021 Some worry the deal will damage that reputation if the All Blacks are forced to play inconsequential matches in a bid to get the game in front of new fans, including in the United States. Washington Post, "New Zealand rugby stars resist Silicon Valley investor’s bid for stake in All Blacks," 29 Apr. 2021 Liquid detergents and dish cleaners can strip away the wax and even damage the paint. Remember to dry off your car with a microfiber towel or lightly moistened chamois before moving on to other steps. Anthony Alaniz, Popular Mechanics, "How to Wash Your Car Like a Pro in 12 Steps," 29 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for damage

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for damage

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Damage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/damage. Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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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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