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Line breaks: sabo|tage
Pronunciation: /ˈsabətɑːʒ

Definition of sabotage in English:


[with object]
Deliberately destroy, damage, or obstruct (something), especially for political or military advantage: power lines from South Africa were sabotaged by rebel forces
More example sentences
  • They were prepared to sabotage the Soviet war machine in the event of a Warsaw Pact-NATO conflict.
  • At first Isak deliberately sabotages the intruder's research by preparing his food in his bedroom, or in other ways changing his habits.
  • Russian partisans sabotaged railways, destroyed trucks and killed hundreds of Germans in ambush.
wreck, deliberately damage, vandalize, destroy, obstruct, disrupt, cripple, impair, incapacitate
disrupt, spoil, ruin, wreck, undermine, filibuster, impair, damage, threaten, subvert
British informal throw a spanner in the works of, muller
North American informal throw a monkey wrench in the works of


[mass noun] Back to top  
The action of sabotaging something: a coordinated campaign of sabotage
More example sentences
  • Their arrest is only one of an increasing number of arrests in which Germans have been suspected of planning similar acts of sabotage.
  • Acts of sabotage and non-cooperation undermined the Nazis' attempts to exploit the resources of Denmark.
  • He reported that in September there were 534 acts of sabotage against railroads as compared to a monthly average of 130 during the first half of the year.
wrecking, deliberate damage, vandalism, destruction, obstruction, disruption, crippling, impairment, incapacitation
rare ecotage
British informal a spanner in the works
North American informal a monkey wrench in the works


early 20th century: from French, from saboter 'kick with sabots, wilfully destroy' (see sabot).

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