Definition of detriment in US English:



  • 1The state of being harmed or damaged.

    ‘he is engrossed in his work to the detriment of his married life’
    • ‘Much of this work is often done in their free time, outside of normal working hours and to the detriment of family and personal commitments.’
    • ‘By holding on to the bulk of the land to the detriment of the millions of suffering peasants, the white farmers were made to look greedy and callous.’
    • ‘Machinery has replaced a lot of the labour, to the detriment of the social aspects of working on the land.’
    • ‘Mislabelling is an unpleasant example of the way retailers force their way between customers and producers to the detriment of both.’
    • ‘I do love what I do, sometimes to the detriment of me as a person.’
    • ‘To the detriment of facts and objective analysis, speech that is normally confined to the private world is now rampant in the public one.’
    • ‘In fact, bigger players pitted themselves against smaller players, much to the detriment of the sector.’
    • ‘Our real task is to maintain this position of disparity without detriment to our national security.’
    • ‘The one person is there in whom God and man are one, without detriment to one or the other.’
    • ‘She says they will work to the detriment of people who work in the sugar fields and factories and to the detriment of the environment.’
    • ‘It is not that this principle is wrong, but that the pursuit of it is most often being done to the detriment of others as we can see quite often.’
    • ‘They are people who have focused on their career to the detriment of their relationships, so they don't see that this is a challenge to do at all.’
    • ‘Once again, agriculture was used to solve social problems to the detriment of the industry.’
    • ‘Unfortunately adults tend to take this provision for granted to the detriment of the survival of the Youth Club.’
    • ‘This must represent the child's presumed will and may be revoked at any time without detriment to the child.’
    • ‘This can be done without detriment to Israel and probably to its long-term benefit.’
    • ‘This is the activity that sucks up my time to the detriment of other things.’
    • ‘The reports also criticised the fact that too much public focus goes on asylum seekers to the detriment of migrants.’
    • ‘When are we going to learn in this country that placating the minority to the detriment of the law-abiding community will only end in chaos?’
    • ‘It is a pity that they should wish to finance this by selling land for speculative building development to the detriment of our environment.’
    1. 1.1 A cause of harm or damage.
      ‘such tests are a detriment to good education’
      • ‘One of the biggest detriments to Bradford improving its image is the number of vehicles which are stolen and abandoned on the streets by the thieves.’
      • ‘Conversely, the ‘accumulation of disadvantage’ for women creates very real job detriments.’
      • ‘Whining, complaining, blaming and making excuses are detriments to good communication.’
      • ‘For example, besides the physiological detriments, cigarette use often precedes marijuana and alcohol use and is concurrent with other risk behaviors such as fighting.’
      • ‘His lack of mobility and limited lateral movement were major detriments for the Jets' offense in 2003, when offensive coordinator Paul Hackett took repeated and unwarranted hits for his play design.’
      • ‘The detriments of motherhood result from a murky mix of women's inherently weak bargaining position and their own real preferences.’
      • ‘If we were truly attempting to remove discrimination and treat people equally, same-sex couples should be taking the bad with the good - the detriments and obligations along with the benefits.’
      • ‘Forty years ago we had theories about equality - how it should be defined, how it could be promoted and how its detriments could be avoided.’
      • ‘Like in any other profession, there were detriments.’
      • ‘That is, do science's potential detriments outweigh its positive contributions to society?’
      • ‘After all, HP's shareholders were split almost 50-50 on the Compaq deal at the time, and since then, it has become clear the detriments outweighed the benefits.’
      • ‘Studies - from the American Medical Journal to the University of New South Wales - have told us that there are significant physical health detriments to the individual from prolonged use of marijuana.’
      • ‘Most Canadians seem so focused on facility in English and/or French that other languages including the original ones are seen as detriments rather than strengths.’
      • ‘Fundamentalists, be they Christian, Muslim or Jewish, are self-righteous detriments to tolerant societies.’
      • ‘I'm saddened by this media frenzy because a great opportunity to talk about the benefits and detriments of psychiatric care has been missed.’
      • ‘Discretionary decisions by courts commonly involve weighing the benefits and detriments of a potential outcome.’
      • ‘But such generalizations are detriments to the impending debate because they obscure what really matters.’
      • ‘Indeed, for many people it was and is, but my own opinion is that too many people allow the film's merits to overcome two very significant detriments - its length and the presence of Gary Cooper.’
      • ‘Nostalgia for a bygone era is understandable, especially if the benefits of subsequent positive changes are overlooked and any new detriments emphasised.’
      • ‘But these are the detriments of attracting foreign investment.’
      harm, damage, injury, hurt, impairment, loss, prejudice, disadvantage, disservice, ill, wrong, mischief
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Late Middle English in the sense ‘loss sustained by damage’: from Old French, from Latin detrimentum, from detri-, stem of deterere ‘wear away’.