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

The decreased sabotage risk should lower global oil prices. Deroy Murdock, National Review, "Trump Should Assemble a Multinational Naval Convoy," 28 June 2019 The incidents were similar to suspected acts of sabotage carried out against tankers near the United Arab Emirates port of Fujairah last month and looked to be the latest salvo in the mounting confrontation between the United States and Iran. Erin Cunnigham, Anchorage Daily News, "Iran calls claims it attacked oil tankers ‘economic terrorism’ by US," 14 June 2019 Bobby is reeling from the fallout of his boardroom sabotage, which ended his relationship with Rebecca Cantu (Nina Arianda). Elena Nicolaou, refinery29.com, "Could Billions Really Be Setting Up A Bobby & Wendy Affair?," 10 June 2019 Earlier, the Saudi ambassador to the U.N., Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, said Saudi Arabia also blames Iran for the sabotage. Washington Post, "US commander says Mideast buildup prompted Iran ‘step back’," 7 June 2019 Not due to deliberate sabotage, despite the best efforts of the of right wing conspiracy theorists to paint it as such, but because of carelessness and neglect. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Notre Dame Is a Cruel Metaphor for Our World Right Now," 25 Apr. 2019 The next year he was prosecuted again, this time for sabotage, and in 1964, at the age of forty-five, Mandela was sentenced to life in prison. Howard W. French, The New York Review of Books, "Notes from Underground," 7 Feb. 2019 Trump, as is well known, has followed his initial assaults on the ACA with consistent sabotage. Michael Hiltzik, latimes.com, "Trump’s assault on Obamacare was much more damaging than previously thought," 18 June 2019 Power outages can be caused by such things as equipment failures, bad weather, cyberattacks and sabotage. Washington Post, "Blackout in South America raises questions about power grid," 17 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Those incidents came after Emirati authorities said four ships had been sabotaged in the United Arab Emirates port of Fujairah. Loveday Morris, Washington Post, "Aboard a U.S. patrol ship in the Persian Gulf, where tensions are spiking," 10 July 2019 The United States — with an assist from John Bolton, who has spent decades sabotaging U.S.-North Korea negotiations — asked for North Korea’s unilateral denuclearization prior to any sanctions relief or other steps from the United States. Gloria Steinem, Time, "Trump Has Been Unrealistic About His Talks With North Korea. Here's Why We Shouldn't Dismiss the Meetings Altogether," 8 July 2019 Thursday’s attack followed reports last month from Saudi Arabia that several oil tankers in the region had been sabotaged. Katherine Dunn, Fortune, "Oil Tanker Attacks Near Iran Put the Squeeze on a Unexpected Party: Japan," 13 June 2019 While some recklessly claim that the administration has been sabotaging the individual market, this rule makes clear we have been focused on expanding affordable options through choice and competition in all possible venues. Brian Blase For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Trump's new rule will give businesses and workers better health care options," 13 June 2019 Democrats say the initiatives sabotage the law and hurt consumers. Stephanie Armour, WSJ, "Trump Mounts New Push on Health Care Ahead of 2020 Election," 21 June 2019 Anthem officials accuse Cordani of sabotaging the deal by refusing to turn over crucial information that could have convinced government regulators of the deal’s value. Jef Feeley, Bloomberg.com, "Cigna’s CEO Expressed Regret About the Anthem Merger That Later Failed," 4 Mar. 2019 Now Obamacare’s defenders are advancing the case that, in sabotaging the health care law, the Trump administration is acting unlawfully. Dylan Scott, Vox, "The new lawsuit to save Obamacare, explained," 14 Sep. 2018 The Nunes memo suggested that a group of politically biased law enforcement officials set out to sabotage Trump, with the Steele dossier as a key piece of evidence. Glenn Kessler, chicagotribune.com, "Trump's 'spygate' claim is latest off-target salvo at Russia probe," 2 June 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

12 Jul 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 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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Comments on sabotage

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