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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Police cordoned off the area near the stabbings, including the former Charlie Hebdo offices, after a suspect package was noticed nearby, but the package was found to be harmless and no explosives were found, according a police official. Bloomberg.com, "Terror Probe Opened After 2 Stabbed in Paris; 2 Arrests," 25 Sep. 2020 Most mushrooms are harmless, but a few are very dangerous to pets. Traci Howerton, NOLA.com, "With fall here, keep up pest preventatives for your pets and watch for seasonal allergies," 22 Sep. 2020 Teddy seems to be harmless, spinning out in the middle of the Atlantic. Judson Jones, CNN, "Wilfred, the last storm name on the list, likely to form in Gulf today," 17 Sep. 2020 The country’s swine herd fell steeply after African swine fever, which is harmless to humans but usually deadly for pigs, first emerged in August 2018. Xie Yu And Lucy Craymer, WSJ, "China Serves Up Pig-Backed Loans for Its Hogtied Farmers," 14 Sep. 2020 Although most bear sightings have been harmless, some encounters between people, their pets and bears have been serious, including those instances when bears enter homes or gravely injure pets. Zach Murdock, courant.com, "Record numbers of bears are entering Connecticut homes this year, DEEP warns numbers will continue to rise this fall as bears bulk up for winter," 14 Sep. 2020 The bulky pincer-like front legs do resemble scorpion pincers, but this native moth is harmless. Ellen Nibali, baltimoresun.com, "Garden Q&A: That’s not a scorpion, it’s a moth, and why some plants don’t grow," 10 Sep. 2020 These mushrooms are usually harmless to grasses, but some people consider them unsightly or want to get rid of them because young children play in the area. oregonlive, "Mushrooms in lawn worry new puppy owner: Ask an expert," 30 Aug. 2020 The company said the chocolate particles were completely harmless to humans and the environment. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Chocolate "snow" dusts Swiss town after malfunction at Lindt factory," 19 Aug. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of harmless

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about harmless

Time Traveler for harmless

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for harmless

Last Updated

30 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Harmless.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harmless. Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for harmless

harmless

adjective
How to pronounce harmless (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on harmless

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!