harmless

adjective
harm·less | \ ˈhärm-ləs \

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

BTi is lethal to mosquito larvae but harmless to humans, other animals and aquatic life. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "West Nile detected in North Avondale, but don't panic, it's normal," 11 July 2018 Paskewitz said tick tubes are harmless to mice and their predators. Because mice have more frequent contact with ticks, this method is effective in targeting the pests in greater numbers. Jennifer Walter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ticks are appearing more frequently in backyards. Here's how to target ticks close to home.," 3 July 2018 Knowing these tactics, Microsoft created Windows 10 with completely new code, making many of the Windows 7 specific exploits harmless to its users. Ken Colburn, azcentral, "Still running Windows 7? Probably not for much longer; Here's what you need to know," 2 July 2018 Citrus greening is harmless to humans and animals, but the disease causes fruit to be misshapen and overly bitter. Kalhan Rosenblatt, NBC News, "One-two punch of disease and Irma has left Florida citrus reeling," 10 Feb. 2018 But prosecutors said the slip-up was harmless and not on purpose. Marc Freeman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Deputy convicted of attempted rape," 13 July 2018 Both stories seemed harmless at the time but were later criticized for not respecting the subjects’ assumption of privacy. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Plane Bae: how an in-flight matchmaker broke the internet," 6 July 2018 These type of Ye antics aren’t as easy to brush off as the usual stuff—saying or doing outlandish but relatively harmless things. Tyler Watamanuk, GQ, "A New Yeezy Is Here, Even if the Old Kanye Isn't," 25 June 2018 Escherichia coli -- or E. coli -- are usually harmless and serve a purpose in human and mammals' digestion. Ann Maloney, NOLA.com, "Will washing produce protect us from E. coli? No, experts says," 24 Apr. 2018

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

17 Sep 2018

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 \

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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Comments on harmless

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