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 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 Revisionist powers such as China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea undermine the foundations of global governance and hijack institutions to the detriment of the liberal international order. Matthew Continetti, National Review, "Present at the Demolition," 14 Dec. 2019 By overwhelming margins, those surveyed said national leaders, social media and the news media have exacerbated and exaggerated those divisions, sometimes for their own benefit and to the detriment of ordinary people. Susan Page, USA TODAY, "Divided we fall? Americans see our angry political debate as 'a big problem'," 5 Dec. 2019 Both are hard on themselves, sometimes to their detriment. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "ASU women's basketball freshman guard Sara Bejedi: 'I'm my worst enemy'," 5 Dec. 2019 Modern Love had the chance to build upon the Times’ original essays, but to its detriment, the show adapted them as faithfully as possible, yielding mostly dull interpretations. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "Modern Love Has Nothing New to Say About Modern Love," 23 Oct. 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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Statistics for detriment

Last Updated

10 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Detriment.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 17 January 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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Comments on detriment

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


a plan in which a last survivor takes all

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