harmless

adjective
harm·​less | \ ˈhärm-ləs How to pronounce harmless (audio) \

Definition of harmless

1 : free from harm, liability, or loss
2 : lacking capacity or intent to injure : innocuous a harmless joke

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Other Words from harmless

harmlessly adverb
harmlessness noun

Examples of harmless in a Sentence

His ideas seem harmless enough. We're just having a bit of harmless fun. It was just a harmless joke.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The black and white birds are harmless for the remainder of the year, National Parks and Wildlife Service Area Manager Roger Mills said in 2017. Ashley Boucher, PEOPLE.com, "Cyclist Dies After Crashing Into a Fence While Trying to Avoid a Swooping Bird's Attack," 16 Sep. 2019 However, the agency says e-cigarette aerosol is not harmless and that there’s not enough evidence to prove it’s an effective way of quitting smoking. Laura Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio vape shops worry about going out of business," 16 Sep. 2019 Depending on the strain, E. coli can be harmless or cause nausea, vomiting and even liver failure leading to death, especially in vulnerable populations. Tara Duggan, SFChronicle.com, "Richmond’s Urban Remedy recalls salads, wraps and rice bowls after E. coli shows up in spinach," 12 Sep. 2019 Everyone was intrigued — the tactic, sometimes called clean graffiti, should be harmless and attention-getting. Michael Paulson, New York Times, "Is Broadway Ready for ‘Slave Play’?," 11 Sep. 2019 But why would these images of harmless stuff possibly bother people? BostonGlobe.com, "‘‘The new iPhone is creeping me ... out with the 3 little cameras,’’ one Twitter user wrote.," 13 Sep. 2019 The subtext of the outrage was this: A pre-existing political connotation automatically subsumes a frivolous but harmless one. Amanda Hess, New York Times, "United We Stan," 11 Sep. 2019 Not the typical look for a JoBros fan, but the youthful vibe, replete with bubbles and bright colors, represents that being only human means having harmless fun. Heran Mamo, Billboard, "Here Are the Lyrics to Jonas Brothers' 'Only Human'," 4 Sep. 2019 And this is also rare but worth noting that post-vaccine fevers can sometimes cause temporary and harmless seizures in children between six months and five years old, the CDC says. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What Parents Need to Know About the Immunization Schedule for Kids," 26 Aug. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near harmless

harman

harmattan

harmful

harmless

Harmolita

harmonia

harmoniacal

Statistics for harmless

Last Updated

15 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for harmless

The first known use of harmless was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for harmless

harmless

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of harmless

: not causing harm : unable to cause harm : not dangerous : not meant to cause harm or offense

harmless

adjective
harm·​less | \ ˈhärm-ləs How to pronounce harmless (audio) \

Kids Definition of harmless

: not harmful “… the real issue is Mrs. Granger's reaction to a harmless little experiment with language …”— Andrew Clements, Frindle

Other Words from harmless

harmlessly adverb

harmless

adjective
harm·​less

Legal Definition of harmless

1 : free from harm, liability, or loss often used in the phrase to hold harmless — see also hold harmless
2 : lacking capacity or intent to injure

Other Words from harmless

harmlessly adverb
harmlessness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on harmless

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with harmless

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for harmless

Spanish Central: Translation of harmless

Nglish: Translation of harmless for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of harmless for Arabic Speakers

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