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

And the trailer immediately shows the lengths that Payton is prepared to go to in order to reach the top, including potential sabotage. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Ryan Murphy’s New Netflix Show The Politician Releases First Trailer," 19 Aug. 2019 Jones Abiri, the publisher and editor-in-chief of the Weekly Source, is behind bars on charges under Nigeria’s cybercrimes act, anti-sabotage act, and terrorism prevention act for crimes allegedly carried out in 2016. Wired Staff, WIRED, "One Free Press Coalition Spotlights Journalists Under Attack," 1 Aug. 2019 Reaching this conclusion took the firing of Pelicans’ general manager Dell Demps, the resignation of Lakers' president Magic Johnson and the incidental sabotage of both franchises over the final months of the season. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "After Year of Turmoil, Lakers Look Ready to Contend," 15 June 2019 Some experts suggest the Japanese tanker sabotage might be more significant than it at first appeared. NBC News, "Tankers on fire may not lead to lower gas prices — but a continued trade war will," 14 June 2019 Now that the Justice Department is in on this sabotage-from-within, there’s little hope that the Trump administration can ever be trusted to take principled stances in court anymore. Cristian Farias, Daily Intelligencer, "On Obamacare, the Department of Justice Is Standing Against the Rule of Law," 8 June 2018 The crash occurred near Ndola, Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia), and immediately aroused suspicions of sabotage. Daphne Merkin, The New Republic, "Cold Case Hammarskjöld’s Artful Paranoia," 3 Sep. 2019 The explosion marked the third failure involving a rocket at the Iranian center, which has raised suspicions of sabotage in Iran's space program. CBS News, "Iran admits rocket exploded after technical malfunction," 2 Sep. 2019 Navy officials remained resistant, too, worried about hundreds of ships being trapped in the southern reaches of the bay if the bridge collapsed after an earthquake or from sabotage. San Diego Union-Tribune, "50 years later, Coronado bridge’s iconic status masks its controversial origins," 4 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In February, The New York Times reported the Trump administration had scaled up a secret US program to sabotage Iran’s missiles and rockets. Megan Specia, BostonGlobe.com, "Iran acknowledges launch blast, days after Trump shares revealing image," 2 Sep. 2019 Mary tried to sabotage her sister's happiness, by revealing Marigold's true identity to Bertie. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Where Did Downton Abbey Leave Off Before the Film?," 1 Sep. 2019 The board also wants a new elementary school and several capital improvements, but going to the public for too much at one time could sabotage the positive feedback seen in the survey. Deanna Weniger, Twin Cities, "Lakeville waits to see what school district will do with sports dome proposal," 4 Aug. 2019 The fandom belief that Marvel is sabotaging its own creations is all but dead now, as Marvel’s parent company Disney has since acquired 20th Century Fox and, thus, the film rights to the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "House of X restores an air of myth and mystique to Marvel’s Merry Mutants ahead of their arrival in the MCU.," 2 Aug. 2019 The elections board’s decision comes amid new warnings of Russia and other foreign rivals trying to sabotage U.S. elections. USA TODAY, "Momoa at Mauna Kea, Confederate context, Guthrie garbage tribute: News from around our 50 states," 2 Aug. 2019 But CalcioMercato alleges that United see Zaniolo as a 'perfect signing' and will 'try to sabotage' the attempts of both Juventus and Tottenham to sign the Italy international. SI.com, "Manchester United Linked With Late Swoop for Tottenham & Juventus Target Nicolo Zaniolo," 18 July 2019 But Bell seemed to sabotage his Warriors career with some uneven play this past season while averaging just 3.3 points in just 11.6 minutes per game in 68 appearances. Jon Becker, The Mercury News, "Jordan Bell has parting message for Warriors," 9 July 2019 But some members of the tribe, disillusioned by the amount of money going to international groups for logistics management, colluded with loggers and anti-REDD activists to sabotage the project. Paula Moura, ProPublica, "Why Carbon Credits For Forest Preservation May Be Worse Than Nothing," 22 May 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.

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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

20 Sep 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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