Definition of damage in English:


Line breaks: dam¦age
Pronunciation: /ˈdamɪdʒ


  • 1 [mass noun] Physical harm that impairs the value, usefulness, or normal function of something: bombing caused extensive damage to the town
    More example sentences
    • Mr Smith said severe physical illness had resulted in physical damage to the brain.
    • Suspected items are not to be used as weapons or to cause bodily harm or damage to personal property in any way.
    • Luckily for us this incident had caused no harm or any damage to the equipment.
    harm, injury, destruction, vandalization, vandalism; impairment, defilement, desecration, defacement, disfigurement, scarring, mutilation, vitiation, detriment; ruin, havoc, devastation; wear and tear, battering, friction, erosion, attrition, corrosion, abrasion, deterioration, degeneration
    rare detrition
  • 1.1Detrimental effects: the damage to his reputation was considerable
    More example sentences
    • The organization needs to be punished both in the courts and at the ballot box and if this happens then there will be no lasting damage to the peace process.
    • Jim was a sneaky little manipulator, and he could do a lot of damage to me behind my back.
    • I could find no discernible psychological damage or mental health difficulties.


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the damage is done

Used to indicate that it is too late to prevent the occurrence of something unfortunate or undesirable: there didn’t seem any point in arguing now—the damage was done
More example sentences
  • He doesn't think it likely that the document will become official policy, but others argue the damage is done.
  • Then we got letters saying we could stay until after Christmas, but of course by then the damage is done.
  • Okay: if she repents then fine, that's for God to decide on in her next life, but the damage is done and nothing now could bring back those people's lives and the pain that their deaths have caused.

what's the damage?

informal , • humorous Used to ask the cost of something.
More example sentences
  • I'll settle up now, what's the damage?
  • What's the damage? Forty quid a session.
cost, price, expense, charge, bill, account, total


Middle English: from Old French, from dam, damne 'loss or damage', from Latin damnum 'loss or hurt'; compare with damn.

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