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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Choose the Right Synonym for harm

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 Chamber does not condone violent acts causing physical harm and destruction of property as legitimate means to achieve objectives for the greater good in a lawful society. Washington Post, "Hong Kong protest: Some condemn, some ask for understanding," 2 July 2019 American investment banks, which particularly value passporting, are among the most critical of Brexit’s harm to financial services. The Economist, "London’s reign as the world’s capital of capital is at risk," 29 June 2019 Ask yourself if getting close is worth potential harm to yourself, or the wildlife. Barry Willette, sun-sentinel.com, "Caught on camera: Consider safety when taking wildlife photos | Opinion," 28 June 2019 More recently, the company has banned tweets that are not direct incitements to violence but that may lead to real-world harm. Anchorage Daily News, "Twitter adds labels for tweets that break its rules - a move with potential implications for Trump’s account," 27 June 2019 Every time a database is accessed for a new project, the intention, scope and potential for harm changes. Sidney Fussell, The Atlantic, "When Research Data Escapes the University," 27 June 2019 Attempting to pick them inevitably leads to more harm than good. Sara Radin, Teen Vogue, "How to Pop A Pimple Properly, Even Though You Really Shouldn't," 27 June 2019 This research adds to the body of evidence that experiences of discrimination harm people’s health and may contribute to the increased rates of premature decline and death among blacks. Jason Ashe, The Conversation, "Not all Americans have a fair path to a good death – racial disparities are real," 24 June 2019 But scientists worry about subtle harms that could ultimately take a toll. Elizabeth Preston, Science | AAAS, "A growing sensory smog threatens the ability of fish to communicate, navigate, and survive," 20 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

What is more, in future EU regulators could set out to harm London deliberately. The Economist, "London’s reign as the world’s capital of capital is at risk," 29 June 2019 In the deepfake era, every woman is a potential victim Since the public started playing around with deepfake technology a couple of years ago, it’s been used to harm women. Sigal Samuel, Vox, "A guy made a deepfake app to turn photos of women into nudes. It didn’t go well.," 27 June 2019 Jesus reserves some of his strongest words of judgment for those who subject children to harm. Heather Timmons, Quartz, "Evangelical Christians call on Trump to fix inhumane border conditions in Jesus’s name," 27 June 2019 But cigarettes, known to harm human health, would not be affected. Arman Azad, CNN, "San Francisco's e-cigarette sales ban is an unprecedented health experiment," 26 June 2019 The idea of using a synthetic product instead of real blood also carries weight not only with those who don't want to harm the crabs, but also those who fear potential losses in a disaster such as a storm or an oil spill. Maddy Lauria, baltimoresun.com, "Using synthetic crab blood substitute in biomedical testing could help save horseshoe crabs and shorebirds," 22 June 2019 Residents are asked not to harm the snake but to call the police or 311 to report a sighting. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al.com, "Tuscaloosa python hunt enters day 4 and even Alexander Shunnarah is weighing in," 21 June 2019 Before the burglar had the chance, the criminal was attacked by one of the family’s two Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs, and used the weapon to harm the animal instead, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "Wayne Newton Says He Fired a Pistol Shot as Burglars Fled His Home," 19 June 2019 Crowder’s supporters are accusing Maza of trying to harm a creator’s means of making a living. Elizabeth Lopatto, The Verge, "Bowing to pressure, YouTube will reconsider its harassment policies," 6 June 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

5 Jul 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

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