harm

noun
\ ˈhärm How to pronounce harm (audio) \

Definition of harm

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : physical or mental damage : injury the amount of harm sustained by the boat during the storm
2 : mischief, hurt I meant you no harm.

harm

verb
harmed; harming; harms

Definition of harm (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to damage or injure physically or mentally : to cause harm (see harm entry 1) to No animals were harmed in the making of the film. the national interest … was gravely harmed by this attack— Elmer Davis

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Other Words from harm

Verb

harmer noun

Synonyms for harm

Synonyms: Noun

affliction, damage, detriment, hurt, injury

Synonyms: Verb

damage, hurt, injure, wound

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Verb

injure, harm, hurt, damage, impair, mar mean to affect injuriously. injure implies the inflicting of anything detrimental to one's looks, comfort, health, or success. badly injured in an accident harm often stresses the inflicting of pain, suffering, or loss. careful not to harm the animals hurt implies inflicting a wound to the body or to the feelings. hurt by their callous remarks damage suggests injury that lowers value or impairs usefulness. a table damaged in shipping impair suggests a making less complete or efficient by deterioration or diminution. years of smoking had impaired his health mar applies to injury that spoils perfection (as of a surface) or causes disfigurement. the text is marred by many typos

Noun

harm, injury, and damage mean an act that causes loss or pain. harm can be used of anything that causes suffering or loss. The frost did great harm to the crops. injury is likely to be used of something that has as a result the loss of health or success. She suffered an injury to the eyes. damage stresses the idea of loss (as of value or fitness). The fire caused much damage to the furniture.

Examples of harm in a Sentence

Noun

They threatened him with bodily harm. The scandal has done irreparable harm to his reputation. She'll do anything to protect her children from harm. They have suffered serious physical harm. These new regulations could cause lasting harm to small businesses.

Verb

He would never intentionally harm his children. chemicals that could harm the environment The scandal has seriously harmed his reputation.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The reputation of big business has been damaged by the global financial crisis, inequality and environmental harm. The Economist, "Popenomics," 7 Sep. 2019 Those harms are compounded by the plaintiffs’ inability to review or challenge their status on the list. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "We’re Trapped in the Dystopian Aftermath of 9/11," 6 Sep. 2019 Editor’s note: Entry into the Sulphur Cave is prohibited and can result in death or harm to your health. Eleanor C. Hasenbeck, The Know, "Steamboat’s toxic cave is home to weird worms, gooey bacteria and now, possibly, a National Natural Landmark," 5 Sep. 2019 Mottolese disagreed and wrote in his decision that the commission needed to determine there was a specific harm to the public interest if the development was constructed. Kathleen Mcwilliams, courant.com, "Judge rules in favor of developer seeking to build affordable housing apartments in Newington," 4 Sep. 2019 Algae blooms that produce toxins and can sicken swimmers and harm fish are becoming an increasing concern nationwide, causing water warnings this year throughout the country. Mercury News Staff And Wire Reports, The Mercury News, "Toxic algae warnings issued for some Bay Area lakes," 30 Aug. 2019 Society certainly lives with the ramifications of the harm adults do to children, from crime to long-term trauma. Byron Mccauley, Cincinnati.com, "Kids are dying and being abused. Let's be there for them.," 29 Aug. 2019 Most people would agree that such companies ultimately cause more social and environmental harm than good. Sandra Woien, The Conversation, "Should investors buy marijuana stocks?," 29 Aug. 2019 Providing customers with the lowest price for products could help Amazon defend itself against unfair-competition claims, since U.S. antitrust law often focuses on consumer harm. Author: Jay Greene, Anchorage Daily News, "Aggressive Amazon tactic pushes you to consider its own brand before you click ‘buy’ amazon," 29 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The experience has harmed her career and personal relationships. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Inside the Federal Lawsuit Filed Against Antonio Brown for Rape and Sexual Assault," 11 Sep. 2019 But her refusal to use an attorney might have harmed her case Monday. CBS News, "Accused Mar-a-Lago trespasser: "I don't believe I did anything wrong"," 10 Sep. 2019 Some antiparasite treatments in cattle can harm dung beetles, for example. Gretchen Vogel, Science | AAAS, "€100 million German insect protection plan will protect habitats, restrict weed killers, and boost research," 6 Sep. 2019 In some instances, the agencies’ decisions or actions led to children being harmed, the report said. Eric Heisig, cleveland.com, "Employee of Strongsville adoption agency pleads guilty to helping bribe Ugandan officials," 30 Aug. 2019 Sure, nicotine is harmful even when it isn’t smoked: vaping nicotine is still highly addictive, can harm the development of adolescent brains, and can even cause seizures. Sara Harrison, WIRED, "Vaping May Harm Your Blood Flow—Even Without Nicotine," 20 Aug. 2019 Blue-green algae can harm both the freshwater and brackish ecoysystems, but also in some cases be toxic to humans if ingested, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Ricky Pinela, orlandosentinel.com, "Three dogs died from toxic algae after playing in a pond: report," 12 Aug. 2019 Water-logging caused by drain blockages not only harms the standing crop but also prevents farmers from planting any new seeds. Kuwar Singh, Quartz India, "Ten numbers that sum up the damage caused by the Indian monsoon this year," 29 July 2019 Tree planting here could harm the livelihoods of millions. Caroline Lehmann, Quartz Africa, "When tree planting actually damages ecosystems," 28 July 2019

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

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for harm

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Old English hearm; akin to Old High German harm injury, Old Church Slavonic sramŭ shame

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Learn More about harm

Dictionary Entries near harm

harlot

harlotry

harls

harm

harm's way

harman

harmattan

Statistics for harm

Last Updated

13 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for harm

The first known use of harm was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for harm

harm

noun

English Language Learners Definition of harm

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: physical or mental damage or injury : something that causes someone or something to be hurt, broken, made less valuable or successful, etc.

harm

verb

English Language Learners Definition of harm (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cause hurt, injury, or damage to (someone or something) : to cause harm to (someone or something)

harm

noun
\ ˈhärm How to pronounce harm (audio) \

Kids Definition of harm

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: physical or mental damage : injury The storm did little harm to the sheltered beach.

harm

verb
harmed; harming

Kids Definition of harm (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cause hurt, injury, or damage to Too much sun can harm your skin.

harm

noun

Legal Definition of harm

: loss of or damage to a person's right, property, or physical or mental well-being : injury

Other Words from harm

harm transitive verb

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More from Merriam-Webster on harm

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with harm

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for harm

Spanish Central: Translation of harm

Nglish: Translation of harm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of harm for Arabic Speakers

Comments on harm

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