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

When used correctly, the trace amount detectable in food is, by all measures, harmless. Yvette D'entremont, SELF, "Should You Worry About Herbicides In Your Food?," 10 Oct. 2018 Bringing him back for the minimum is harmless enough, though Tom Thibodeau's steadfast belief in Rose (who isn't even the best reserve point guard on his own team) bears a constant risk of overexposure. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "NBA Free Agency 2018: Under-the-Radar Grades," 4 July 2018 But sometimes your body can overreact to substances that are actually harmless—hello, allergies—or something that at least doesn’t require such a disproportionate response. Zahra Barnes, SELF, "Here's How Stress Actually Impacts Your Skin," 14 May 2018 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

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

12 Nov 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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