det·​ri·​ment ˈde-trə-mənt How to pronounce detriment (audio)
: injury, damage
did hard work without detriment to his health
: a cause of injury or damage
a detriment to progress

Examples of detriment in a Sentence

opponents of casino gambling claim that it is a detriment to society at large the requirement that runners wear shoes for the race worked to his detriment since he was used to running barefoot
Recent Examples on the Web First, underscore your experience as a unique value proposition, a distinct advantage rather than a detriment. Tammy Homegardner, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2024 But the clear win for companies comes to the detriment of workers’ health. Orianna Rosa Royle, Fortune, 6 Mar. 2024 But opponents described the limits on enforcing the city’s camping ban as a detriment to efforts to bring more people indoors. Joe Rubino, The Denver Post, 2 Feb. 2024 From trouble digesting, to the spread of disease and disrupted behavior patterns, feeding wildlife can be a huge detriment to their health. Brooke Baitinger, Idaho Statesman, 31 Jan. 2024 But one thing that luxury buyers, sellers, and agents will have to look out for is the mansion tax: a darling of politicians pushing for more affordable housing support and a detriment to those close to the luxury-housing market. Sydney Lake, Fortune, 24 Feb. 2024 The franchise has a history of signing position players to long-term contracts—often to their detriment—and Bellinger would be a consolation prize and the nucleus of their rebuild. Daniel R. Epstein, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 What all of this means for recruiting efforts is a two-pronged detriment. Luther Ray Abel, National Review, 9 Feb. 2024 The technology world can be, to its detriment, too analytical, sort of arrogant, and self-important, and those characteristics are anti-empathy. Phil Wahba, Fortune, 25 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'detriment.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin detrimentum, from deterere to wear away, impair, from de- + terere to rub — more at throw entry 1

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of detriment was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near detriment

Cite this Entry

“Detriment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


det·​ri·​ment ˈde-trə-mənt How to pronounce detriment (audio)
: injury or damage or its cause

Legal Definition


det·​ri·​ment ˈde-trə-mənt How to pronounce detriment (audio)
: injury, loss
also : the cause of an injury or loss
: a giving up of a thing or mode of conduct to which one is entitled that constitutes consideration for a contract

called also legal detriment

detrimental adjective
detrimentally adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on detriment

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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