sabotage

noun
sab·​o·​tage | \ ˈsa-bə-ˌtäzh \

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

Don’t let your attempts to stay warm sabotage your eyes. Korin Miller, SELF, "8 Ways to Keep Winter From Making Your Dry Eyes Worse," 11 Dec. 2018 The origin of the hole has yet to be determined, and its existence has spawned numerous wild rumors about in-space sabotage. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Russian cosmonauts are spacewalking to figure out the origin of a mysterious spacecraft hole," 11 Dec. 2018 Russia has also reportedly instigated a campaign of drone sabotage against Ukrainian military bases, particularly ammunition dumps, in one case causing a billion dollars’ worth of damage. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Russia Seizes Three Ukrainian Warships in Border Incident," 26 Nov. 2018 Nicky is done being saved by Superman Jack—and may be on his own self-sabotage mission. Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Is Us Reveals Zoe’s Heartbreaking Trauma," 14 Nov. 2018 The program even survived attempts at sabotage by the Obama Administration like expanding waivers for work requirements. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The GOP’s Welfare to Work Pitch," 5 June 2018 The Urban Institute has calculated that the various acts of legislative and executive sabotage against the law will increase premiums on the individual market by an average of 18 percent. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Republican Campaign Message: We Had to Jack Up Your Insurance Premiums to Help the Poor," 19 Apr. 2018 The Spanish government views such actions as sabotage against the state. Renata Brito, Fox News, "With Catalonia's leaders in jail, Spain hits the grassroots," 13 Apr. 2018 Second, the space agency wanted to affirm its view that this was likely not an intentional bit of sabotage—and definitely was not an act of NASA astronauts in space. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "After more speculation about cause of ISS leak, NASA issues another statement," 3 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The crackdown, however, hasn’t stopped some sellers from sabotaging rivals. Laura Stevens, WSJ, "Amazon, Amid Crackdown on Seller Scams, Fires Employees Over Data Leak," 10 Dec. 2018 This week’s traitors are Sage, who sabotages Blair’s show by taking off all her clothes, and Dan, who screws over Nate by selling the rest of his story to Vanity Fair. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, "Every Single Episode of Gossip Girl, Ranked," 19 Sep. 2018 Whether or not the offense avoids sabotaging that is the season's biggest question. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's defense is championship caliber," 7 July 2018 In 2009 the Nigerian government offered militants sabotaging oil production in the Niger Delta a monthly stipend of 60,000 naira (about $400 at the time) to disarm. The Economist, "When the shooting stopsHow to stop countries sliding back into civil war," 18 Jan. 2018 Banksy, the enigmatic street artist and provocateur, intentionally sabotaged one of his famous paintings at a Sotheby's auction last week, using a paper shredder hidden in the frame to chew the canvas into bits. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Here's a Look Inside Banksy's $1.4 Million Paper Shredder," 18 Oct. 2018 The concern is the NHL would spend the entire year leading up to Seattle’s October 2020 launch trying to prevent a labor stoppage from sabotaging it. Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times, "It’s in nobody’s interests to delay the NHL to Seattle beyond 2020, so let’s give them no reason to," 8 Oct. 2018 Faced with defections from liberal supporters, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and his labor allies are striking back, threatening to sabotage a progressive third party for potentially giving its ballot line to his Democratic rival, Cynthia Nixon. Shane Goldmacher And Jesse Mckinley, New York Times, "Flexing Their Support for Cuomo, Key Unions Leave Working Families Party," 13 Apr. 2018 The owner claimed a disgruntled former tenant sabotaged the infrastructure, but a building inspector blamed the problem on improper fittings and lack of support for the waste lines. Michael Hill, The Seattle Times, "Limo driver’s family believes he was given an unsafe vehicle," 10 Oct. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near sabotage

sabora

saboraic

sabot

sabotage

saboteur

sabotier

sabra

Statistics for sabotage

Last Updated

11 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sabotage

The first known use of sabotage was in 1910

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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 \

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 \

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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Comments on sabotage

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