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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for detriment


affliction, damage, harm, hurt, injury

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 at least for the moment, this has worked to Democrats’ detriment. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Democrats’s nuclear-option gamble is coming up snake-eyes," 29 June 2018 The presence of top-end talent, as determined by recruiting rankings, can work to an HC’s detriment. Chris Johnson,, "Four Coach of the Year Candidates to Watch Out For," 15 Feb. 2018 But for decades - beginning, in Farrow's telling, with the administration of President Bill Clinton and accelerating dramatically under President Trump - America has been overvaluing the military and undervaluing diplomacy, to its own detriment. Rosa Brooks,, "An elegy for American diplomacy," 21 May 2018 In response to attacks and opposition, Local 1000 grew secretive and hostile to the press, to its own detriment. Marcos Breton, sacbee, "The Supreme Court may strip this union leader of her power. Don't care? Think again | The Sacramento Bee," 28 Feb. 2018 Drake, instead, continues to do him to the exclusion, and at times detriment, of women worldwide., "Album Review: Drake Is Upset On Scorpion. Women Should Be Upset About Scorpion.," 2 July 2018 Each group told the Federal Communications Commission that Sinclair would be too large, to the detriment of local voices, if allowed to absorb Tribune's 42 television stations. Todd Shields,, "Odd bedfellows call on FCC to reject Sinclair's deal for Tribune," 21 June 2018 Pollsters could be wrongly modeling turnout, to the benefit of one party and detriment of the other. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Polls can be wrong," 19 Oct. 2018 There are a few things that feel culled from other movies and shoehorned in here to the film’s detriment. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "This Week in Timothée Chalamet, July 27 Edition," 27 July 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about detriment

Statistics for detriment

Last Updated

30 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for detriment

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 detrimental (audio) \ adjective
detrimentally adverb

Keep scrolling for more

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).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!