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collateral damage

noun
1.
the killing of civilians in a military attack.
2.
any damage incidental to an activity.
Origin
1985-1990
1985-90
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for collateral damage
  • He bombed a specific military target, accepting that there would be collateral damage.
  • And while the game allows players to use drones, they don't do collateral damage.
  • He was encouraged in this change of heart by the housing collapse, in which the market for lawn seed was collateral damage.
  • When that happens, future parties with more sympathetic cases become collateral damage.
  • But since you want to make sure legitimate messages don't become collateral damage, filters have to stay a little bit loose.
  • The destruction of bacteria is simply collateral damage.
  • Sure, there will be some collateral damage, but it is less of a risk then allowing these theatrics to continue.
  • collateral damage is wrecking our image around the world.
  • So far, the evidence is that robots are much more precise and so there is far less collateral damage.
  • Yes the network approach to describe the collateral damage is fine but it is not the network which caused triggered the melt down.
British Dictionary definitions for collateral damage

collateral damage

noun
1.
(military) unintentional damage to civil property and civilian casualties, caused by military operations
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Contemporary definitions for collateral damage
noun

unintentional harm to persons or property as the result of military action

Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin and History for collateral damage
n.

by 1873 in legal cases; in modern use, generally a euphemism for "the coincidental killing of civilians," U.S. coinage, c.1968, at first generally with reference to nuclear weapons.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Difficulty index for collateral damage

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for collateral

12
16
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