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 But the evidence has made plain how Russia conducted extensive election sabotage operations that supported Mr. Trump and that his advisers welcomed the effort, Mr. Polymeropoulos said. Adam Goldman, New York Times, "John Ratcliffe Pledged to Stay Apolitical. Then He Began Serving Trump’s Political Agenda.," 9 Oct. 2020 In July, a facility in Natanz, Iran, that was working on the new generation of centrifuges exploded, with the blast believed to have been caused by sabotage. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "Netanyahu warns Iran will soon have enough enriched uranium for two nuclear weapons during UN address," 29 Sep. 2020 There is still some debate over whether the service changes imposed by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump mega-donor, are deliberate electoral sabotage or merely part of a long-running conservative project to hobble and then privatize the USPS. Gilad Edelman, Wired, "Honestly, Just Vote In Person—It’s Safer Than You Think," 17 Aug. 2020 Trump's attack on U.S. Postal Service is 2020 election sabotage amid COVID-19. Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY, "What's going on with the post office? Here's what we know," 13 Aug. 2020 In another act of self-sabotage, the Justice Department Solicitor General is backing the Republican AGs against Democratic states that have intervened in the case. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The GOP’s ObamaCare Self-Sabotage," 27 Sep. 2020 The Ayn Qana explosion, however, appeared to be the first involving a site linked to Hezbollah, raising the possibility of sabotage. Washington Post, "Blast levels Hezbollah-linked site in southern Lebanon," 22 Sep. 2020 Known for their secrecy and high levels of skill, ninjas were masters of espionage, sabotage, assassination and guerrilla warfare dating back to at least the 14th century. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "Stealthy thieves broke into a Japanese ninja museum and stole a million yen," 21 Aug. 2020 Russian officials speculated that one of the NASA crew members drilled the hole as an act of sabotage. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "How a Russian Rocket Launch Failed Spectacularly In Just 118 Seconds," 3 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The voters didn't sabotage the Secretary of State's website. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: 2nd presidential debate in doubt," 8 Oct. 2020 His plea came as part of a late-night frenzy of tweets where Trump took aim at Democrats and accused them of trying to sabotage his presidency. Jordan Fabian, Bloomberg.com, "Trump Allies Stumped by Unilateral Move to Scrap Stimulus Talks," 7 Oct. 2020 Over the summer, Democrats speculated that USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy—a Trump donor appointed to head the agency in May—was attempting to sabotage the postal service in order to undermine mail voting and throw the election to Trump. J.c. Pan, The New Republic, "America’s Conspiracies of Profit," 1 Oct. 2020 Democrats have accused the Trump administration of trying to sabotage the health-care law that was partially undone when Congress repealed a mandate in 2017 that required most Americans to buy insurance or risk a tax penalty. Jeff Barker, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland Sens. Van Hollen, Cardin oppose Barrett’s Supreme Court appointment and say fight isn’t over," 26 Sep. 2020 Sorry to ruin that dream, but the Vikings aren’t going to purposely sabotage their chances, hoping to go lower than the Jets or Eagles. Star Tribune, "Mike Zimmer, The Fixer, now faces his biggest home improvement project yet," 26 Sep. 2020 Throughout the game, crewmates try to complete their tasks and imposters try to murder the crew and sabotage the spaceship without getting caught. Shannon Liao, CNN, "Among Us, a murder mystery set in space, is the latest multimillion dollar craze in video games," 26 Sep. 2020 Native enumerators, Native legislators, and tribal governments and organizations have been working to drive participation in their communities despite efforts from this administration to sabotage the count. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Can the Census Be Saved in Indian Country?," 25 Sep. 2020 So Christmas tells David about Nicole and Dani's plan to sabotage his voting from last week, hoping to recruit him to her side. Kyle Fowle, EW.com, "Big Brother recap: Can Da'Vonne finally see the game and turn her fate around?," 25 Sep. 2020

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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Statistics for sabotage

Last Updated

13 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sabotage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sabotage. Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

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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

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Comments on sabotage

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