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[dam-ij] /ˈdæm ɪdʒ/
injury or harm that reduces value or usefulness:
The storm did considerable damage to the crops.
damages, Law. the estimated money equivalent for detriment or injury sustained.
Often, damages. Informal. cost; expense; charge:
What are the damages for the lubrication job on my car?
verb (used with object), damaged, damaging.
to cause damage to; injure or harm; reduce the value or usefulness of:
He damaged the saw on a nail.
verb (used without object), damaged, damaging.
to become damaged:
Soft wood damages easily.
Origin of damage
1250-1300; Middle English < Old French, equivalent to dam (< Latin damnum damage, fine) + -age -age; see damn
Related forms
damageable, adjective
damageableness, damageability, noun
damager, noun
nondamageable, adjective
predamage, noun, verb (used with object), predamaged, predamaging.
quasi-damaged, adjective
redamage, verb (used with object), redamaged, redamaging.
undamageable, adjective
undamaged, adjective
1. loss. Damage, detriment, harm, mischief refer to injuries of various kinds. Damage is the kind of injury or the effect of injury that directly impairs appearance, value, usefulness, soundness, etc.: Fire causes damage to property. Detriment is a falling off from an original condition as the result of damage, depreciation, devaluation, etc.: Overeating is a detriment to health. Harm may denote either physical hurt or mental, moral, or spiritual injury: bodily harm; harm to one's self-confidence. Mischief may be damage, harm, trouble, or misfortune caused by a person, especially if maliciously: an enemy who would do one mischief. 4. impair, hurt. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for damage
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This will damage the thread and prevent the nut from turning loose.

  • Not only that, but he would get into trouble with Mr. Paine on account of the damage which it had received.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • What if he had made us pay for the damage you did, or had had you arrested?

    At the Little Brown House Ruth Alberta Brown
  • I really feel like leaving the car there all night, but it would do a lot of damage.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • In her efforts to repair the damage, much time had passed before Priscilla appeared.

    Brenda's Ward Helen Leah Reed
British Dictionary definitions for damage


injury or harm impairing the function or condition of a person or thing
loss of something desirable
(informal) cost; expense (esp in the phrase what's the damage?)
(transitive) to cause damage to
(intransitive) to suffer damage
Derived Forms
damageable, adjective
damageability, noun
damager, noun
damaging, adjective
damagingly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Latin damnum injury, loss, fine
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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Word Origin and History for damage

late 13c., from Old French damage (12c., Modern French dommage) "loss caused by injury," from dam "damage," from Latin damnum "loss, hurt, damage" (see damn).


early 14c., from Old French damagier, from damage (see damage (n.)). Related: Damaged; damaging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with damage


In addition to the idioms beginning with damage
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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