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 Counterterrorism agents often complained before 9/11 that headquarters tightly managed the flow of intelligence information, sometimes to the detriment of investigations. Tim Golden, ProPublica, "Operation Encore and the Saudi Connection: A Secret History of the 9/11 Investigation," 23 Jan. 2020 At least this is what journalists have learnt to their detriment. Riyaz Wani, Quartz India, "With an eerie calm, Kashmir watches the “Kashmirisation” of India," 9 Jan. 2020 Spence argued that tech giants often leverage their dominance in one market to take over another, to the detriment of their competitors. Louise Matsakis, Wired, "PopSockets Asks Congress to Rein in Big Tech," 17 Jan. 2020 Some 80% of junk issues and lev loans are cov-lite, giving issuers too much leeway, to the detriment of investors. Larry Light, Fortune, "A Decade After the Financial Crisis, Corporate Finance Must Contend with These New Ticking Debt Time Bombs," 29 Dec. 2019 Brissett has become known for his unwillingness to put the ball in jeopardy -- even to the point of his own detriment. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Colts — and their playoff hopes — crumble late vs. Titans," 1 Dec. 2019 To its own detriment, the narrative concentrates too much on genteel domestic scenes and refined romantic conversations. Ron Charles, Washington Post, "Christmas comes early in John Clinch’s ‘Marley,’ a clever riff on ‘A Christmas Carol’," 22 Oct. 2019 Try everything and keep trying Does that system sometimes favor corporate interests to the detriment of ordinary Detroiters? John Gallagher,, "Departing Free Press columnist John Gallagher pens open letter to Detroiters," 19 Dec. 2019 In this case, individual Arizonans are being asked to guard the public good, while policy makers, developers and multinational corporations overgraze our water to the detriment of the greater good. John D'anna, azcentral, "Yes we live in a desert, but is it really up to each of us to conserve water?," 15 Dec. 2019

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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Last Updated

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Detriment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for detriment


How to pronounce detriment (audio)

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 detrimental (audio) \ adjective
detrimentally adverb

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