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

More and more people are asking questions about the potential harm in flavored e-cigarettes, especially as more and more teenagers take a puff and an alarming number of people stop taking a breath. Rick Hurd, The Mercury News, "The Vaping Crisis: Local health officials speak out against e-cigarettes," 12 Sep. 2019 The harm that the GBRA is going to present can occur if one or both dams have a catastrophic failure. Diego Mendoza-moyers, ExpressNews.com, "Residents seek legal fight with GBRA to save lakes," 24 Aug. 2019 Alex isn’t so down with the breaking and entering portion of the night, but Bryce reminds him that this is basically his house so...what’s the harm? Kaitlin Reilly, refinery29.com, "R29 Binge Club: 13 Reasons Why Season 3 Recap," 24 Aug. 2019 Yet not much is known about the harms associated with e-cigarettes. Sara Harrison, WIRED, "Vaping May Harm Your Blood Flow—Even Without Nicotine," 20 Aug. 2019 It’s all well and good for folks who are profiting off all this to have recognized the harms deep inside it. Ezra Klein, Vox, "Is Big Tech addictive? A debate with Nir Eyal.," 7 Aug. 2019 But attorneys general from other states and public-interest advocates say that Dish is hardly a replacement for Sprint as a standalone company and that the conditions fail to address the competitive harm the deal causes. Dallas News, "T-Mobile's $26.5 billion Sprint deal OKed despite competition fears," 26 July 2019 But attorneys general from other states and public-interest advocates say that Dish is hardly a replacement for Sprint as a stand-alone company and that the conditions fail to address the competitive harm the deal causes. Tali Arbel And Marcy Gordon, Houston Chronicle, "T-Mobile's $26.5B Sprint deal OKed despite competition fears," 26 July 2019 The private wish is that the harm inflicted won’t be too great and that there will be an exit from this room and others like it. Longreads, "A Minor Figure," 20 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Sustainability certifications permit the use of Roundup, along with neonicotinoid pesticides, which have been shown to harm bee populations. Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "Nearly all Sonoma County vineyards are certified sustainable," 12 Sep. 2019 Williams was the defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints when the team was investigated for the Bountygate scandal, in which the NFL found that Williams had created incentives for his players to harm opposing players. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, "Odell Beckham Jr. claims Jets DC Gregg Williams once told players to 'take me out' of game," 12 Sep. 2019 Police determined there is no indication that the man intended to harm students or staff, Ertl said. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Man wearing construction vest gains unauthorized access into Lincoln Elementary in Wauwatosa during school day," 11 Sep. 2019 Her office has also faced pressure to investigate if Apple is unfairly using its app store to harm competition, and to initiate further inquiry of Google. New York Times, "E.U.’s New Digital Czar: ‘Most Powerful Regulator of Big Tech on the Planet’," 10 Sep. 2019 Giuliani also sought to have the country’s government look into whether Ukrainian officials tried to harm Trump’s 2016 campaign by releasing damaging information on the president's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, the Times reported. NBC News, "House Dems to probe Giuliani's efforts to get Ukraine to investigate Trump opponents," 9 Sep. 2019 North Carolina Republicans have admitted that the maps were intentionally drawn to lock in a partisan advantage, but not to harm minority groups. David Daley, The New Yorker, "The Secret Files of the Master of Modern Republican Gerrymandering," 6 Sep. 2019 This is an armed and dangerous person who not only is willing to harm police officer, but is very likely to cause harm to any other person in the community. Mckenna Oxenden, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore police still seeking men who shot Sgt. Carrington as another officer comes under fire," 28 Aug. 2019 Trump has invoked the IEEPA repeatedly to punish Venezuela for its human rights violations and to harm Iran's financial stability. Jeffrey Sachs For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Trump is smashing the rules of global trade while Congress stays silent," 28 Aug. 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

11 Oct 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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