harm

noun
\ ˈhärm How to pronounce harm (audio) \

Definition of harm

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : physical or mental damage : injury the amount of harm sustained by the boat during the storm
2 : mischief, hurt I meant you no harm.

harm

verb
harmed; harming; harms

Definition of harm (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to damage or injure physically or mentally : to cause harm (see harm entry 1) to No animals were harmed in the making of the film. the national interest … was gravely harmed by this attack— Elmer Davis

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Other Words from harm

Verb

harmer noun

Synonyms for harm

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for harm

Verb

injure, harm, hurt, damage, impair, mar mean to affect injuriously. injure implies the inflicting of anything detrimental to one's looks, comfort, health, or success. badly injured in an accident harm often stresses the inflicting of pain, suffering, or loss. careful not to harm the animals hurt implies inflicting a wound to the body or to the feelings. hurt by their callous remarks damage suggests injury that lowers value or impairs usefulness. a table damaged in shipping impair suggests a making less complete or efficient by deterioration or diminution. years of smoking had impaired his health mar applies to injury that spoils perfection (as of a surface) or causes disfigurement. the text is marred by many typos

Examples of harm in a Sentence

Noun They threatened him with bodily harm. The scandal has done irreparable harm to his reputation. She'll do anything to protect her children from harm. They have suffered serious physical harm. These new regulations could cause lasting harm to small businesses. Verb He would never intentionally harm his children. chemicals that could harm the environment The scandal has seriously harmed his reputation.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Vars said there are concerns about due process but that laws in other states try to balance that by setting a high bar for when to issue orders -- when there is an eminent threat of harm from using a firearm. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, "Alabama lawmakers take sides in national debate over gun rights," 27 Mar. 2021 But, for many, funerals and burials became the mainstay, easing the financial pain but exacting another kind of harm, even for those used to playing such ceremonies intermittently between other events. New York Times, "Mariachis Play On, Their Music Unsilenced by the Virus or the Deaths," 24 Mar. 2021 The messages to the Ohio State forward include racial insults and direct threats of harm. NBC News, "Ohio State's E.J. Liddell receives threats after Buckeyes' early exit from NCAA Tournament," 20 Mar. 2021 Dorsey said the company has taken action against tweets from leaders all around the world and considers the severity of potential harm when posts violate rules of engagement. Musadiq Bidar, CBS News, "Twitter seeks public feedback on how to handle world leaders' accounts," 19 Mar. 2021 And the amount reserved for personal injury victims — between $700 million and $750 million — results in payouts that are absolutely inappropriate, given the extent of the harm suffered. Ed Silverman, STAT, "‘The public is being denied the truth’: A legal expert blasts Purdue’s bankruptcy plan to end opioid lawsuits," 19 Mar. 2021 It is treated in passing as a form of prohibition that (like libel) gets a constitutional pass because of its long common-law tradition, and in which the likelihood of imminent harm is similar to false advertising. The Economist, "Not gonna lie A timely diagnosis of the problem of rampant dishonesty," 18 Mar. 2021 More than 1 in 10 women have experienced threats of physical harm while using online dating apps, according to Pew Research poll results published last year. Dom Difurio, Dallas News, "Want to check out your dating app match? Match Group strikes deal to let users see criminal records," 16 Mar. 2021 To cite just a single example, Brennan, a person of short stature who uses a wheelchair, faces down chilling threats of physical harm from his Q-world acquaintances that take the form of jokes about the gas chambers at Nazi concentration camps. Daniel D'addario, chicagotribune.com, "Review: QAnon documentary ‘Q: Into the Storm’ investigates conspiracy-theory movement," 15 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Martinez faces 64 charges, including purportedly acting as an agent, tampering with a governmental record with intent to harm or defraud, and fraudulent use of a mail ballot application involving a voter 65 years of age or older. Jacob Beltran, San Antonio Express-News, "Texas AG's office accuses Medina County official, three others of 'vote harvesting' in 2018 election," 19 Mar. 2021 Some diseases harm not only patients but also people close to them, reverberating throughout society. Jason Karlawish, STAT, "The long, exhausting reach of dementia care," 19 Mar. 2021 Mulches that are applied too thickly or too often will harm plants and the soil. Washington Post, "How to help plants thrive in spring, the garden’s most exciting and perilous season," 17 Mar. 2021 Particularly with mattresses, sleeping on a bad one can seriously harm your quality of sleep, as well as your spine alignment, which can then cause bad back. Tanya Edwards, CNN Underscored, "16 products that can help you fall asleep faster," 15 Mar. 2021 In other words, the measures harm economic incentives but provide a bridge to an economy saved by the vaccines that the private sector produced with record speed under Operation Warp Speed . . . Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "Treasurys Tremble," 13 Mar. 2021 The layoffs will harm some of San Francisco’s most vulnerable students, Finkelstein said, including English learners and students who are disabled. Michael Williams, San Francisco Chronicle, "S.F.'s City College may lay off hundreds amid another budget crisis," 10 Mar. 2021 Like the Trump administration before it, the Biden administration believes the pipeline will harm European energy security, particularly for countries in Eastern and Central Europe like Ukraine and Poland, which the pipeline bypasses. Matthew Lee, ajc, "Biden's Russia credentials questioned over European pipeline," 9 Mar. 2021 Statements that tout diversity with no real legwork do more to harm than to help. Stephanie Burns, Forbes, "Corporate Social Responsibility Is More Important Than Ever–Here’s How To Ensure Your Company Is Stepping Up," 4 Mar. 2021

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

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for harm

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Old English hearm; akin to Old High German harm injury, Old Church Slavonic sramŭ shame

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Time Traveler for harm

Time Traveler

The first known use of harm was before the 12th century

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Statistics for harm

Last Updated

31 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Harm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harm. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for harm

harm

noun

English Language Learners Definition of harm

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: physical or mental damage or injury : something that causes someone or something to be hurt, broken, made less valuable or successful, etc.

harm

verb

English Language Learners Definition of harm (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cause hurt, injury, or damage to (someone or something) : to cause harm to (someone or something)

harm

noun
\ ˈhärm How to pronounce harm (audio) \

Kids Definition of harm

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: physical or mental damage : injury The storm did little harm to the sheltered beach.

harm

verb
harmed; harming

Kids Definition of harm (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cause hurt, injury, or damage to Too much sun can harm your skin.

Choose the Right Synonym for harm

Noun

harm, injury, and damage mean an act that causes loss or pain. harm can be used of anything that causes suffering or loss. The frost did great harm to the crops. injury is likely to be used of something that has as a result the loss of health or success. She suffered an injury to the eyes. damage stresses the idea of loss (as of value or fitness). The fire caused much damage to the furniture.

harm

noun

Legal Definition of harm

: loss of or damage to a person's right, property, or physical or mental well-being : injury

Other Words from harm

harm transitive verb

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More from Merriam-Webster on harm

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for harm

Nglish: Translation of harm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of harm for Arabic Speakers

Comments on harm

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