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 The AstraZeneca vaccine is built from a non-replicating version of a virus that is thought to be harmless to people, and has been engineered to produce the coronavirus spike protein. Roxanne Khamsi, The Atlantic, "The Blood-Clot Problem Is Multiplying," 16 Apr. 2021 Tritium is relatively harmless to human health, and the concentration of the tritium contained in TEPCO’s tanks is reportedly below the level of atmospheric tritium left over from global nuclear testing in the 1960s. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "All nuclear plants dump wastewater into the ocean—but Japan’s Fukushima release poses a unique problem," 16 Apr. 2021 There are hundreds of variants of the novel coronavirus, and the vast majority of mutations are harmless to humans. Keri Enriquez, CNN, "How Major League Baseball is tracking Covid-19 variants," 1 Apr. 2021 The winged adults are annoying but harmless to plants, but the larvae can damage roots. Marie Viljoen, Better Homes & Gardens, "How to Grow Citrus Trees Indoors," 19 Mar. 2021 There seems something quaint and decent and forthright, and relatively harmless, about a good old-fashioned hug-and-mug. Justin Torres, Los Angeles Times, "The gold chain that got away," 17 Mar. 2021 The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has been widely viewed as colorful, generally harmless, perhaps venal and not necessarily journalistically productive. New York Times, "The Golden Globes’ Biggest Winner May Be the Group That Hands Them Out," 23 Feb. 2021 There are thousands of types of phytoplankton along the Washington coast, and most are harmless to humans. Sara Harrison, Wired, "A Unique Alliance Could Help Warn Us of Toxic Algae," 23 Dec. 2020 Most legless lizards survive on a diet of insects and are harmless to humans. Washington Post, "These lizards lost their legs, but don’t call them snakes," 20 Dec. 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

28 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Harmless.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harmless. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

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!