Definition of harmlessly in US English:



  • 1In a manner not able or likely to cause harm.

    ‘the weapons fell harmlessly to the floor’
    ‘the fireball passed harmlessly above them’
    • ‘The infection is carried harmlessly by about a third of the population.’
    • ‘The piece of debris from an old rocket engine passed by harmlessly.’
    • ‘Concerned about animal welfare, she wants to remove the mouse as harmlessly as possible.’
    • ‘The bomb exploded harmlessly 20 kilometers above the ground, leaving a train of smoke that remained visible for an hour.’
    • ‘Excess energy has to be dissipated harmlessly as heat.’
    • ‘The first pellet whistled past my ear and bounced harmlessly off the curtains.’
    • ‘He fired another bullet at David; it ricocheted off the armor harmlessly.’
    • ‘The local anaesthetic is harmlessly broken down within a few hours.’
    • ‘A bomb exploded harmlessly a thousand yards away, throwing up a plume of soft sand.’
    • ‘An arrow streaked through the air and landed harmlessly in the road on the other side.’
    1. 1.1 In an inoffensive manner.
      ‘he was harmlessly expressing his free speech’
      • ‘He harmlessly looked in over the rim of the kittens' box.’
      • ‘I was harmlessly sitting at my desk looking though my account.’
      • ‘The harmlessly eccentric community is very inclusive.’
      • ‘He liked telling harmlessly mischievous stories about people he had known.’
      • ‘She was flirting harmlessly with some boys who were passing by.’
      • ‘He harmlessly stares at some of the town folk.’
      • ‘It was an innocent enough question, harmlessly delivered, but she knew that there had to be more behind it.’
      • ‘When every other question has been batted harmlessly away, an interviewer can always rely on the killer question.’
      • ‘Why feel so guilty about a feeling that remains a mere fancy, harmlessly stashed away in your brain?’
      • ‘Reality TV started harmlessly enough with mainly American shows.’