sabotage

noun
sab·​o·​tage | \ ˈsa-bə-ˌtäzh How to pronounce sabotage (audio) \

Definition of sabotage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : destruction of an employer's property (such as tools or materials) or the hindering of manufacturing by discontented workers
2 : destructive or obstructive action carried on by a civilian or enemy agent to hinder a nation's war effort
3a : an act or process tending to hamper or hurt
b : deliberate subversion

sabotage

verb
sabotaged; sabotaging

Definition of sabotage (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to practice sabotage on

Examples of sabotage in a Sentence

Noun Angry workers were responsible for the sabotage of the machines. Officials have not yet ruled out sabotage as a possible cause of the crash. Verb They sabotaged the enemy's oil fields. The airplane crashed because it was sabotaged. The lawyer is trying to sabotage the case by creating confusion. The deal was sabotaged by an angry employee.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Counterintelligence -- preventing espionage and political sabotage operations against America by the Chinese and the Russians -- is an even greater challenge. Zachary B. Wolf, CNN, 30 Aug. 2021 However, Natanz has been targeted by sabotage in the past. Time, 11 Apr. 2021 French runner Morhad Amdouni is shutting down claims of Olympic sabotage after his controversial water bottle incident during the men's marathon. Vanessa Etienne, PEOPLE.com, 9 Aug. 2021 What happens when athletes, guilty or not, cry sabotage and cite the ease with which the Cologne study manufactured positive tests from a dime-sized dapple of translucent ointment? Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 July 2021 Last July, unexplained fires struck the advanced centrifuge assembly plant at Natanz, which authorities later described as sabotage. Nasser Karimi, Star Tribune, 6 July 2021 Checking email first thing is self-sabotage; secretly hoping that a distraction appears, bringing a valid excuse for not doing the real work. Jodie Cook, Forbes, 14 June 2021 An increasingly vocal share of Arizona Republicans see the recount as an act of self-sabotage, creating an albatross for statewide candidates in the run-up to a pivotal election year. Los Angeles Times, 6 June 2021 Kadri, though, lived up to his self-sabotage reputation with a vicious high hit on Justin Faulk in Game 2 , which led to an eight-game suspension for the ex-Leaf. BostonGlobe.com, 28 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Narrator and new employee Delaney plans to sabotage the firm, but not before Eggers blasts us with a blistering analysis of the dystopian horrors that lie on the other side of our digital addictions. Seija Rankin, EW.com, 17 Sep. 2021 However, this irrational pattern of thinking could eventually sabotage our efforts to create an actual intelligent machine. Daniel Fallmann, Forbes, 14 June 2021 Many people sabotage their careers with destructive relationships. Terry Pluto, cleveland, 12 June 2021 Dear Trapped: Even someone who loves you dearly could be trying – even unconsciously – to sabotage you. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, 3 Aug. 2021 Dear Trapped: Even someone who loves you dearly could be trying – even unconsciously – to sabotage you. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, 3 Aug. 2021 Dear Trapped: Even someone who loves you dearly could be trying – even unconsciously – to sabotage you. Amy Dickinson, chicagotribune.com, 3 Aug. 2021 The American people needed to know the truth about efforts by the Clinton campaign and the Obama administration to sabotage the president’s campaign sooner. Fred Fleitz, National Review, 8 Oct. 2020 If none of this works, the female dragonfly will sabotage the flight, dive-bombing into the water to shake off and momentarily stall the male, who needs several seconds to take off again from the surface. Claire Hogan, Science | AAAS, 12 Aug. 2021

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

Noun

1910, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1913, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sabotage

Noun

French, from saboter to clatter with sabots, botch, sabotage, from sabot

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Time Traveler for sabotage

Time Traveler

The first known use of sabotage was in 1910

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Dictionary Entries Near sabotage

sabot

sabotage

saboteur

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Statistics for sabotage

Last Updated

8 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sabotage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sabotage. Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for sabotage

sabotage

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sabotage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the act of destroying or damaging something deliberately so that it does not work correctly

sabotage

verb

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

: to destroy or damage (something) deliberately so that it does not work correctly
: to cause the failure of (something) deliberately

sabotage

noun
sab·​o·​tage | \ ˈsa-bə-ˌtäzh How to pronounce sabotage (audio) \

Kids Definition of sabotage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: deliberate destruction of or damage to property Angry workers used sabotage to disable the factory's machinery.

sabotage

verb
sabotaged; sabotaging

Kids Definition of sabotage (Entry 2 of 2)

: to damage or destroy on purpose : to engage in sabotage The country's water supply was sabotaged by the retreating enemy.

sabotage

noun
sab·​o·​tage | \ ˈsa-bə-ˌtäzh How to pronounce sabotage (audio) \

Legal Definition of sabotage

1 : the willful destruction of an employer's property or the hindering of normal operations by other means
2 : the injury, destruction, or knowingly defective production of materials, premises, or utilities used for war or national defense — compare criminal syndicalism, sedition

History and Etymology for sabotage

French, from saboter to clatter with wooden shoes, botch, sabotage, from sabot wooden shoe

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