dis·ser·vice | \(ˌ)di(s)-ˈsər-vəs \

Definition of disservice 

: ill service : harm also : an unhelpful, unkind, or harmful act misinformation that does a disservice to readers

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Examples of disservice in a Sentence

Her comments were a disservice to those volunteers. you do a great disservice to the professionals at the day-care center when you refer to them as “babysitters”

Recent Examples on the Web

But without paying closer attention to what our allies in Great Britain and Canada have uncovered on our behalf, Americans are doing our own democracy a grave disservice. David Carroll, WIRED, "The US Should Pay Attention to Foreign Cambridge Analytica Probes," 15 June 2018 The graphic pictures from the Palestinian side and the amount of casualties have done us a tremendous disservice. Declan Walsh, New York Times, "A Child of Gaza Dies. A Symbol Is Born. The Arguing Begins.," 16 May 2018 Well, Sean, this started with John Brennan who did a great disservice to the national debate on national security by openly speculating without evidence that Vladimir Putin could blackmail the president. Fox News, "Steve Bannon on NATO: Trump is saying 'no more games'," 12 July 2018 But diminishing her story to the status of background noise—while building up Sam’s backstory and screen time—is an astonishing disservice, both to GLOW’s characters and audience. Sonia Saraiya, HWD, "Marc Maron Is Great in GLOW, and Maybe That’s a Problem," 29 June 2018 Even when pain isn’t a sign of a serious medical problem, treating it as no big deal does women a disservice. Lux Alptraum, SELF, "Painful Sex Isn't Normal—Let's Put This Damaging Myth to Bed," 11 July 2018 By that measure, a disservice has been done to a great many people in the IfNotNow movement. Abraham Riesman, Daily Intelligencer, "Can the young activists of IfNotNow change the conversation about Israel and the Palestinians, or will their contradictions hold them back?," 12 July 2018 Reducing the vote to a tally of goals and assists does the award, and the players, a disservice, anyway. Patrick Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "FC Cincinnati's Emmanuel Ledesma named USL Player of the Month for June," 12 July 2018 To focus on Ibrahimovic — to make a player who is not here at the World Cup the point of entry into Sweden’s story — is almost a disservice to those who are in Russia, who have carried Sweden further than players and public alike can have imagined. Rory Smith, New York Times, "By His Absence, Zlatan Ibrahimovic Makes Sweden Stronger at the World Cup," 3 July 2018

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

1599, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for disservice

The first known use of disservice was in 1599

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More Definitions for disservice



English Language Learners Definition of disservice

: something that harms or damages someone or something


dis·ser·vice | \di-ˈsər-vəs \

Kids Definition of disservice

: a harmful, unfair, or unjust act I have done you a disservice by blaming you.

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Comments on disservice

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


one that holds something together

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