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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The public moved on them, blocking further sabotage but the Stasi managed to fill 17,000 bags with shreds of paper. Fox News, "Fall of the Berlin Wall: East Germans still seeking answers 30 years later," 10 Nov. 2019 In 2015 and 2016, hackers snuffed out the lights for hundreds of thousands of civilians in the first power outages ever triggered by digital sabotage. Wired, "The Story of Sandworm, the Kremlin's Most Dangerous Hackers," 5 Nov. 2019 All his successes spring from his inestimable genius; all his failures are the product of sabotage by jealous losers. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Impeach Him For Real," 25 Sep. 2019 Still, the water stations Humane Borders maintains have frequently been the targets of sabotage by those who oppose immigrant rights. Elizabeth King, Allure, "These Immigration Activists Prove On-the-Ground Support Is Crucial Amid Ongoing ICE Raids," 12 Sep. 2019 July 19 American Airlines corporate security contacts the FBI about possible sabotage to one of its planes and shared surveillance video. Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY, "American Airlines sabotage saga: What we know and safety questions answered," 6 Sep. 2019 But the fight for the French capital killed nearly 5,000 people, including Parisian civilians, German troops, and members of the French Resistance, whose sabotage and attacks had prepared the city for the liberation. Elaine Ganley, BostonGlobe.com, "Paris celebrats its liberation from the Nazis 75 years ago," 25 Aug. 2019 My story on Antonio Brown, his spiraling self-sabotage, a new account of misconduct, and his bizarre string of debts. oregonlive, "New England Patriots’ Antonio Brown accused of sexual misconduct by a second woman: Report," 16 Sep. 2019 American Airlines sabotage saga: a timeline Here's how event unfolded, according to court documents and flight-tracking service FlightAware.com. Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY, "American Airlines sabotage saga: What we know and safety questions answered," 6 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb After a two-week trial, a jury Monday awarded $93.6 million to ICTSI Oregon, finding the dock workers union sabotaged shipping traffic and caused productivity to plummet through years of labor slowdowns and stoppages. oregonlive, "Judge delays entering $93.6 million judgment against longshore workers’ union," 8 Nov. 2019 Blizzard is the latest in a long string of international companies that have had to toe Beijing’s ideological line so as not to sabotage their access to the lucrative Chinese market. Mary Hui, Quartz, "Blizzard banned a Hong Kong Grandmaster gamer for shouting a protest slogan," 8 Oct. 2019 People were trying to sabotage our dealings and our relationship but there were no surprises. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Oscar De La Hoya strikes back at perception his fighters are sparring with him," 16 Sep. 2019 An American Airlines mechanic has been arrested for allegedly trying to sabotage a plane that was about to fly 150 people from Miami to the Bahamas. David Meyer, Fortune, "Designing a Sustainable Future: CEO Daily," 6 Sep. 2019 But any new talks may not happen for several months, with each side feeling that an agreement that seemed within reach was sabotaged by the other, Afghan officials said. David E. Sanger, BostonGlobe.com, "After Trump calls off talks, Afghanistan braces for violence," 8 Sep. 2019 But any new talks may not happen for several months, with each side feeling that an agreement that seemed within reach was sabotaged by the other, Afghan officials said. David E. Sanger, New York Times, "After Trump Calls Off Talks, Afghanistan Braces for Violence," 8 Sep. 2019 Instead, Shiv self-sabotages her chief-of-staff gig with Gil. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kendall’s Back on Top in the Succession Game of Thrones," 19 Aug. 2019 However, even that dish was nearly sabotaged by an uninspired rice-and-corn accompaniment. Christina Tkacik, baltimoresun.com, "Inconsistent food and service make for a frustrating dining experience at Inner Harbor’s Blackwall Hitch," 15 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sabotage

Statistics for sabotage

Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for sabotage

The first known use of sabotage was in 1910

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sabotage

sabotage

noun
How to pronounce sabotage (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on sabotage

What made you want to look up sabotage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to speed up the process or progress of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • pasta resembling wheels with spokes
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!