Synonyms & Antonyms of damage

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 something that causes loss or pain
  • the collision did a great deal of damage to her car

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2 damages plural a sum of money to be paid as a punishment
  • ordered by the court to pay $1000 in damages

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3 damages plural payment to another for a loss or injury
  • the company was forced to pay millions in damages to the permanently disabled worker

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4 the amount of money that is demanded as payment for something
  • he winced when he saw the damage after the family's shopping spree

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Synonyms & Antonyms of damage (Entry 2 of 2)

2 to cause bodily damage to
  • his knee was badly damaged in the accident, and he walked with a limp for months

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About damage

How is the word damage distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of damage are harm, hurt, impair, injure, and mar. While all these words mean "to affect injuriously," damage suggests injury that lowers value or impairs usefulness.

a table damaged in shipping

When can harm be used instead of damage?

Although the words harm and damage have much in common, harm often stresses the inflicting of pain, suffering, or loss.

careful not to harm the animals

Where would hurt be a reasonable alternative to damage?

In some situations, the words hurt and damage are roughly equivalent. However, hurt implies inflicting a wound to the body or to the feelings.

hurt by their callous remarks

When might impair be a better fit than damage?

The words impair and damage are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, impair suggests a making less complete or efficient by deterioration or diminution.

years of smoking had impaired his health

When could injure be used to replace damage?

While the synonyms injure and damage are close in meaning, injure implies the inflicting of anything detrimental to one's looks, comfort, health, or success.

badly injured in an accident

In what contexts can mar take the place of damage?

The words mar and damage can be used in similar contexts, but mar applies to injury that spoils perfection (as of a surface) or causes disfigurement.

the text is marred by many typos

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Time Traveler for damage

Time Traveler

The first known use of damage was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Damage.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on damage

Nglish: Translation of damage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of damage for Arabic Speakers


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