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 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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun However, some students believe the damage may be more widespread than officially reported. Briana Stewart, ABC News, 23 Oct. 2021 There’s no evidence the damage to Biden is irreparable. BostonGlobe.com, 23 Oct. 2021 Burn damage is evident along the highway for miles near South Lake, and parts of the roadway are already slide-prone. Gregory Thomas, San Francisco Chronicle, 21 Oct. 2021 The economic damage will be significant, as will the potential for political backlash. Henning Gloystein For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, 18 Oct. 2021 The good news is the brown edges reveal the damage is old. oregonlive, 17 Oct. 2021 Scientists warn the damage is irreversible and headed to catastrophic levels absent major cuts in emissions. Ellen Knickmeyer, USA TODAY, 15 Oct. 2021 And, Paduda insists, the damage of dispensing is real and lasting. Michael Schulson, Quartz, 14 Oct. 2021 Waters said last week’s damage was not preventable. Howard Koplowitz | Hkoplowitz@al.com, al, 12 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb When scientists damage mitochondria in mice, the animals die faster, and mitochondrial dysfunction results in inflammaging in humans, Campisi said. Matt Fuchs, Anchorage Daily News, 12 Oct. 2021 Electric utilities turn off power circuits when forecasts predict strong wind and dry conditions that could cause trees to fall on power lines or damage other electrical equipment, creating a spark. Los Angeles Times, 11 Oct. 2021 When scientists damage mitochondria in mice, the animals die faster, and mitochondrial dysfunction results in inflammaging in humans, Campisi said. Washington Post, 11 Oct. 2021 Don't yank it off the branch, which might damage the tree and knock other apples to the ground. Casey Barber, CNN, 8 Oct. 2021 Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention share that benzene can greatly damage your immune system over time by triggering white blood cell irregularity or anemia. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, 5 Oct. 2021 Never use abrasive tools like steel wool or harsh cleaners such as bleach or oven cleaner on your stainless-steel pans, as these can permanently damage the surface. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 5 Oct. 2021 City officials say the vessel is now an environmental hazard, taking on water and threatening to roll over and damage the Queen Mary. John Wilkens, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Oct. 2021 Chronic exposure can cause lung cancer and can damage the kidneys and bones. Rebecca Woolington, orlandosentinel.com, 25 Sep. 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.

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

Time Traveler for damage

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near damage

dama de noche

damage

damageable

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for damage

Last Updated

26 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Damage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/damage. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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

More from Merriam-Webster on damage

Nglish: Translation of damage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of damage for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

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!