Definition of damage in English:



  • 1[mass noun] Physical harm that impairs the value, usefulness, or normal function of something.

    ‘bombing caused extensive damage to the town’
    • ‘Coalition bombing, which struck nuclear and chemical weapons installations, also caused serious environmental damage.’
    • ‘These fires cause damage to property and often lead to personal injury.’
    • ‘Luckily for us this incident had caused no harm or any damage to the equipment.’
    • ‘The U.S. embassy building sustained extensive structural damage.’
    • ‘One of the most common cartilage injuries is damage to the fibrocartilage in the knee joint.’
    • ‘Apart from a few bruises, we arrived in Hobart with no injuries and no damage to the yacht.’
    • ‘A car accident left me with whiplash, a concussion, and severe ligament damage.’
    • ‘Instead of letting up, they exacerbate their injuries, potentially causing permanent damage.’
    • ‘Thankfully there was only mild smoke damage to the family accommodation.’
    • ‘Suspected items are not to be used as weapons or to cause bodily harm or damage to personal property in any way.’
    • ‘Deaths, injuries and damage resulting from drink-driving in the city have risen in recent years.’
    • ‘Prompt treatment with steroids may prevent further irreversible nerve damage.’
    • ‘Mr Smith said severe physical illness had resulted in physical damage to the brain.’
    • ‘The move is to prevent vandals from causing further damage to the property.’
    • ‘Extensive flood damage has closed a 20-block section of downtown Richmond.’
    • ‘Motorists have paid the price of deteriorating roads with damage to their vehicles.’
    • ‘In addition to being fatal in large enough doses, paracetamol can cause permanent damage to the liver.’
    • ‘US Army Air Corps officers believed that bomb damage resulted primarily from blast effects.’
    • ‘Mavis watched in dismay as youths drinking alcohol gathered in alleys, causing criminal damage to property and vehicles.’
    • ‘If this condition persists too long the baby suffers irreparable brain damage.’
    harm, injury, destruction, vandalization, vandalism
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    1. 1.1Detrimental effects.
      ‘the damage to his reputation was considerable’
      • ‘I could find no discernible psychological damage or mental health difficulties.’
      • ‘There will inevitably be damage to the firm's brand value caused by the publicity.’
      • ‘It is hard to know what psychological damage another defeat might have inflicted on Chambers.’
      • ‘Cesare died at the age of 30, far before his sister, but the damage to her reputation had already been done.’
      • ‘The institution of monarchy has inflicted terrible psychological damage on him since he was a toddler.’
      • ‘Does he not see the inner torment and psychological damage this is causing me?’
      • ‘No matter what, this battle will cause tremendous damage to the newspaper vendors.’
      • ‘If oil prices remain high, then it will probably be developing countries who will suffer the most economic damage.’
      • ‘The misery and human damage our policies have inflicted on some people will never be undone.’
      • ‘Economists say that the current global oil price hike will be absorbed without too much damage to the economy.’
      • ‘Jim was a sneaky little manipulator, and he could do a lot of damage to me behind my back.’
      • ‘Don't you have deep-rooted psychological damage from your time amongst the other kids?’
      • ‘The organization needs to be punished both in the courts and at the ballot box and if this happens then there will be no lasting damage to the peace process.’
      • ‘However, we are concerned about the psychological damage you have inflicted on your victims.’
      • ‘The damage to the UN and our relations with Europe will have long-term repercussions.’
      • ‘This will do nothing but damage to the villagers and can only be detrimental to the area.’
      • ‘Being able to let go seems safer psychologically, as damage occurs from a failure to release things.’
      • ‘The most voracious debt will invariably do the most psychological damage.’
      • ‘The Secretary said he deeply regrets the damage done to the reputation of the military and the country as a whole.’
      • ‘The articles are seen as causing serious damage to Alexander's reputation.’
  • 2A sum of money claimed or awarded in compensation for a loss or an injury.

    ‘she was awarded $284,000 in damages’
    • ‘He or she sues not only for personal injury but for damages for the loss or destruction of the motor vehicle.’
    • ‘The defendants claim damages which they allege that they suffered from the granting of the injunction.’
    • ‘Before his death, he issued a writ against the defendant claiming damages for personal injuries.’
    • ‘I would not, therefore, have been able to award the Claimants any damages even if they had established liability.’
    • ‘The second principle may be that the court should not award exemplary or aggravated damages.’
    • ‘The judge had rejected both approaches and awarded £2,500 general damages for loss of amenity.’
    • ‘The claimants claim damages for libel against the three defendants in the current action arising out of the article.’
    • ‘Nor do I think it is necessary to achieve just satisfaction of the claimant's claim that damages should be awarded.’
    • ‘Many of the criteria derive from the principles adopted in awarding special damages for personal injuries.’
    • ‘The Defendants maintain that the claim for damages for libel must in consequence fail.’
    • ‘Ms. Jones claims economic losses in the form of loss of income and general damages for her injuries.’
    • ‘Awards of damages are primarily intended to compensate for loss, whether pecuniary or non-pecuniary.’
    • ‘It also seeks an award of monetary damages for losses incurred as a result of the defendants' unlawful conduct.’
    • ‘He had won damages after the newspaper printed allegations about his involvement with a prostitute.’
    • ‘The Claimant is seeking damages for loss of access to Government Business Grants.’
    • ‘Put another way, the Federal Court could not award damages in a judicial review proceeding.’
    • ‘I am satisfied that I have jurisdiction to award damages in lieu of an injunction.’
    • ‘Accordingly, the plaintiff's claim for damages for mental distress is dismissed.’
    • ‘As a result, the defendants deny that the plaintiff is entitled to damages for wrongful dismissal.’
    • ‘However, any right to award damages or other remedy is restricted to courts that already have the power to make such an award.’
    compensation, recompense, restitution, redress
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  • 1 Inflict physical harm on (something) so as to impair its value, usefulness, or normal function.

    ‘the car was badly damaged in the accident’
    • ‘This is ionizing radiation, which damages genetic material and disrupts cell function.’
    • ‘The forester implored anyone seeing vandals damaging the tree to report it immediately to the police.’
    • ‘Wayne hit the windscreen of a car in the smash, severely damaging his brain.’
    • ‘This can result in a severely damaged thyroid gland that functions poorly or not at all.’
    • ‘The end terrace house was badly damaged in the blaze which started when a gas fire set light to a sofa in the front room.’
    • ‘The empty house became the target for vandals, and five years ago it was badly damaged in a fire.’
    • ‘The accident damaged the propeller and both sets of landing gear at the nose and the rear of the plane.’
    • ‘One of the cottages was severely damaged in November when it was hit by a stolen car.’
    • ‘A pupil and a teacher suffered minor injuries and the bus was damaged in the accident.’
    • ‘He said all the trees on the land were damaged by vandals four months ago and only replaced this week.’
    • ‘The car doorframe was damaged and the covering around the steering column had been removed.’
    • ‘The car was damaged in the accident but the driver did not stop and it was later found burned out.’
    • ‘The vandals broke into the car, damaged the ignition and stole her walking stick.’
    • ‘He also admitted a further charge of making a threat to destroy or damage her home.’
    • ‘Windows were smashed and the roof was damaged but the vandals failed to get into the building.’
    • ‘If your tooth is damaged by accident then the pulp may be affected and get infected.’
    • ‘Swan revealed he was out of action at Turf Moor for almost a year after damaging his cruciate ligament.’
    • ‘The driver escaped serious injury although the car was badly damaged in the impact.’
    • ‘Lomax's car was badly damaged and had a smashed windscreen and two shredded tyres.’
    • ‘Frustrated motorists trying to negotiate traffic calming methods at speed will damage their cars.’
    harm, do damage to, injure, mar, deface, mutilate, mangle, impair, blemish, disfigure, vandalize, blight, spoil, defile, desecrate
    tamper with, sabotage, disrupt, play havoc with, vitiate
    ruin, devastate, destroy, wreck, cripple, drive a nail into the coffin of
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    1. 1.1Have a detrimental effect on.
      ‘the scandal could seriously damage his career’
      • ‘The slur made by your critic is a very serious and damaging one to the organization and its unconditional generosity.’
      • ‘Has the coverage been fair to those who say the bill badly damages free speech?’
      • ‘The low price meant I could buy a couple of bottles and not damage my bank balance too badly.’
      • ‘Its effects will be particularly damaging on small businesses and entrepreneurs.’
      • ‘She does not want her name used for fear of damaging her husband's future career.’
      • ‘In the long run, arguing may have a damaging effect on your relationship, and on your whole family.’
      • ‘If you don't do so and we get these side effects, our embryonic sense of hope is badly damaged.’
      • ‘The changed item could do harm to the author by mocking him or damaging his reputation.’
      • ‘The other allegation is a lot trickier and potentially a lot more damaging.’
      • ‘At the very least, it will badly damage the reputation of the hardliners.’
      • ‘At the very least their own career is then finished, at worse it could probably damage their own party.’
      • ‘In breaking that promise, the party's political credibility is severely damaged.’
      • ‘All this was good for morale, but rivalries could have a damaging effect on operational efficiency.’
      • ‘Few seem prepared to stand up to a prejudice that is both socially and economically damaging.’
      • ‘It was in this capacity that he became embroiled in a damaging series of scandals.’
      • ‘He is seen as something of a damaged figure in the wake of a number of scandals.’
      • ‘Suddenly, it appears that once a pitcher passes his prime, one bad season will irreparably damage his reputation.’
      • ‘Some are unhappy at the possibility of a highly geared offer that could damage the value of their investments.’
      • ‘The central theme here is the damaging effect of selfish thinking and behaviour.’
      • ‘It severely damages the image and value of sport, whether or not the motivation to use drugs is to improve performance.’
      harmful, detrimental, injurious, hurtful, inimical, dangerous, destructive, ruinous, calamitous, disastrous, deleterious, pernicious, ill, bad, evil, baleful, malign, corrupting, malignant, adverse, undesirable, prejudicial, unfavourable, unfortunate, counterproductive
      unhealthy, unwholesome, poisonous, cancerous, noxious, environmentally unfriendly
      malefic, maleficent
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Middle English: from Old French, from dam, damne loss or damage, from Latin damnum loss or hurt; compare with damn.