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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

After emergency care, recovery typically involves rehabilitating any function lost due to brain tissue damage, including changes to speech, movement, and sensation. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Luke Perry of 'Beverly Hills, 90210' and 'Riverdale' Is Hospitalized After Suffering a Stroke," 28 Feb. 2019 Decaying from fire damage, and basically in ruins, the 210,875-square-meter plot is currently owned by the Crown Prince of Johar, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim—and looks nothing like the Young estate. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "The Real-Life Inspo For the Home in ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is Worth Billions," 26 Feb. 2019 Tesla’s board is likely discussing means to limit the damage, including stricter controls of Mr. Musk, said Byron Loflin, chief executive at the Center for Board Excellence, an organization that advises boards at large corporations. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "SEC’s Tussle With Tesla’s Elon Musk Shows Challenge of Regulating Iconic CEOs," 26 Feb. 2019 Some 300 buses of the 1,540-vehicle fleet were sidelined because of damage or maintenance backlogs last week, as workers rehabbed them around the clock. Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times, "Metro buses still on reduced snow schedules while slush brings new driving risks," 12 Feb. 2019 Fortunately, one of the worst of the lot happens to be the easiest fix: Daily dehydration, which can wreak serious skin damage (breakouts and dryness), along with fatigue and poor brain function. Vogue, "The Biggest Beauty Vice Is Not What You Think," 13 Jan. 2019 And obviously there’s the political damage, there’s the polarization. Eric Johnson, Recode, "How Imgur avoids the ugliness of social media," 26 Dec. 2018 Microsoft rescinded the patch, but the damage was done. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Careful! Windows 10's 'Check for updates' button may download beta code," 12 Dec. 2018 The damage extended as far as the Louvre, when a number of passersby were crushed after protesters pulled down one of the iron gates at the Jardins des Tuileries. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Eiffel Tower, Louvre, and More Closed Saturday Ahead of Paris’s ‘Yellow Vest’ Protests," 7 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Test pilots racked up 110 conversions from vertical to horizontal flight and back before one of the two aircraft was severely damaged in a wind tunnel accident. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "V-22 Osprey: The Story of the Revolutionary Tiltrotor Aircraft," 8 Feb. 2019 In 2017, Trump traveled to Texas twice after Hurricane Harvey, and once each to Puerto Rico, severely damaged by Hurricane Maria, and a post-Irma Florida. Matt Viser, The Seattle Times, "Trump blames California for natural disaster, adding to denunciations of strongly Democratic state," 13 Nov. 2018 Parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties in Southern California have also been damaged from two additional fires. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "How to Help People Affected by California Wildfires," 12 Nov. 2018 Big changes can damage your hair severely, so most colorists prefer to do it in stages, allowing hair to recuperate for a few weeks between sessions. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "20 Things You Should Know Before Coloring Your Hair for the First Time," 8 Nov. 2018 Millions of trees and thousands of acres of forest have been seriously damaged or even killed by these non-native pests. Jean Nick, Good Housekeeping, "8 Kinds of Wood That You Should Absolutely Never Burn," 13 July 2018 Nearly two weeks after a delivery truck severely damaged the covered bridge in Long Grove, village officials detailed their next steps, outlining an extensive rebuild process that could take up to nine months. Todd Shields, chicagotribune.com, "Long Grove bridge rebuild could take months; officials say timber cover could collapse," 11 July 2018 Brickbeard’s Bounty, a ship used in the pirate-themed ski shows staged at Legoland Florida theme park, has returned to its place in productions after being severely damaged during Hurricane Irma last year. Dewayne Bevil, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Legoland Florida: Hurricane-ripped ship back in theme park's pirate show," 11 July 2018 Prior to that, Kika's Miami home was severely damaged by Hurricane Irma. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "IndyCar community rallies around 'icon' in need," 6 July 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about damage

Statistics for damage

Last Updated

16 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for damage

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on damage

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

WORD OF THE DAY

the range of authority or knowledge

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!