det·​ri·​ment | \ ˈde-trə-mənt How to pronounce detriment (audio) \

Definition of detriment

1 : injury, damage did hard work without detriment to his health
2 : a cause of injury or damage a detriment to progress

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Synonyms for detriment


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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 But for the regulators, those concerns are outweighed by the benefits of ensuring that the largest companies aren’t allowed to swallow smaller ones unencumbered, to the detriment of the wider market. Rey Mashayekhi, Fortune, 16 June 2021 Harry Anslinger regularly conflated drug use, race, and music to the detriment of our communities. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, 15 June 2021 Throughout history, central banks have devalued their currencies or tried to maintain untenable exchange rates to the detriment of investors. Max Raskin, WSJ, 15 June 2021 This would be to the detriment of both smaller agents and lower league clubs where fees are lower. Zak Garner-purkis, Forbes, 12 June 2021 Not to the detriment of shareholders, but to their benefit. Chaka Booker, Forbes, 2 June 2021 However, more obviously, the Veiled Prophet Ball was a symbol of white privilege and elitism, celebrated solely by the city's wealthy, white one percent to the detriment of its working class. Ineye Komonibo,, 1 June 2021 That relationship inspired at least one lawsuit, with the North American Soccer League arguing the federation made decisions to benefit MLS to the detriment of other leagues such as the NASL. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 25 May 2021 The Commerce Department, serving as a research arm for the PUC, said the utilities turned to an overheating natural gas spot market too soon in February instead of using up their stores — to the detriment of Minnesota rate payers. Mike Hughlett, Star Tribune, 24 May 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for detriment

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

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Time Traveler for detriment

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

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Statistics for detriment

Last Updated

19 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Detriment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for detriment



English Language Learners Definition of detriment

: something that will cause damage or injury to something or someone
: the act of causing damage or injury to something or someone


det·​ri·​ment | \ ˈde-trə-mənt How to pronounce detriment (audio) \

Kids Definition of detriment

: injury or damage or its cause : harm Missing school is to your detriment. Smoking is a detriment to health.


det·​ri·​ment | \ ˈde-trə-mənt How to pronounce detriment (audio) \

Legal Definition of detriment

1 : injury, loss also : the cause of an injury or loss
2 : 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

Other Words from detriment

detrimental \ ˌde-​trə-​ˈmen-​təl How to pronounce detriment (audio) \ adjective
detrimentally adverb


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