sabotage

1 of 2

noun

sab·​o·​tage ˈsa-bə-ˌtäzh How to pronounce sabotage (audio)
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
3
a
: an act or process tending to hamper or hurt
b
: deliberate subversion

sabotage

2 of 2

verb

sabotaged; sabotaging

transitive verb

: to practice sabotage on

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Barring an 11th-hour rebellion by the MAGA wing of the House GOP Conference or a Trump sabotage, which remains a possibility at this moment, McCarthy will likely become the next Speaker of the House. Charlie Dent, CNN, 17 Nov. 2022 Nation-states frequently take part in cyber-espionage and sabotage in an attempt to undermine unfriendly or competing governments or to access secrets. Bernard Marr, Forbes, 11 Nov. 2022 The decision to make that small, straightforward wiper code its sabotage payload of choice represents a stark contrast with years past. WIRED, 10 Nov. 2022 Cue bumbling attempts at sabotage, apparent signs from the universe, big confessions, even bigger regrets and a series of surprise hook-ups, all against the backdrop of charming university town Durham. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 7 Nov. 2022 German investigators have also determined that sabotage was the likely cause, The Wall Street Journal reported. Joe Wallace, WSJ, 27 Oct. 2022 During World War II, no acts of espionage or sabotage were committed by American citizens of Japanese ancestry or by resident Japanese immigrant on the West Coast, the commission said. Beth Nakamura, The Oregonian - OregonLive.com, 26 Oct. 2022 The news follows a spate of recent arrests involving drone sightings near critical infrastructure and comes as European countries move to bolster security in the wake of the Nord Stream gas pipelines sabotage. Caroline Radnofsky, NBC News, 26 Oct. 2022 But beyond acknowledging that explosives were used in acts of deliberate sabotage, investigators have disclosed few details of their findings. Melissa Eddy, BostonGlobe.com, 25 Oct. 2022
Verb
Earlier this month, his military deployed unguided kamikaze drones—reportedly manufactured in Iran—to sabotage Ukrainian electricity grids and water supplies, just in time for winter. Sheelah Kolhatkar, The New Yorker, 24 Oct. 2022 Welcome to the wacky world of MEV, or Maximal Extractable Value, where software-engineers-turned-traders try to outsmart (and sometimes even sabotage) each other and get rich off the unique and often inefficient structure of blockchain transactions. Jeff Kauflin, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2022 As ProPublica has written, bad ballot design can sabotage up to hundreds of thousands of votes each election year. Annie Waldman, ProPublica, 12 Sep. 2022 The story’s focus is on the White tourists trying to sabotage their daughter’s wedding. Common Sense Media, Washington Post, 21 Oct. 2022 Some analysts suggested Berlusconi was intentionally trying to sabotage her future government. Nicole Winfield, ajc, 19 Oct. 2022 As Lee was pleading for Romney’s help, Carlson was attacking Romney and his family for actively trying to sabotage Lee’s reelection chances. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 12 Oct. 2022 But one of them is actually a mole, secretly tasked with trying to sabotage their wins. Michael Schneider, Variety, 7 Oct. 2022 But the case puts the court in the awkward position of possibly forcing an unwilling buyer who’s actively trying to sabotage a deal to purchase a multibillion-dollar company. Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 July 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

1910, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1913, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sabotage was in 1910

Dictionary Entries Near sabotage

Cite this Entry

“Sabotage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sabotage. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

sabotage 1 of 2

noun

sab·​o·​tage ˈsab-ə-ˌtäzh How to pronounce sabotage (audio)
1
: destruction of an employer's property or the action of making it difficult to work by discontented workers
2
: destructive or blocking action carried on by enemy agents or sympathizers to make a nation's war effort more difficult

sabotage

2 of 2

verb

sabotaged; sabotaging
: to practice sabotage on : wreck

Legal Definition

sabotage

noun

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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