damage - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    [uncountable] physical harm caused to something so that it is broken, spoiled, or injured

    Mr Charlton surveyed the damage caused by the bulldozer.

    damage to:

    Damage to the building could take six months to repair.

    do damage:

    No damage had been done, and we pushed the van back onto the road.

    suffer damage:

    The house suffered only superficial damage in the fire.

    serious/severe/extensive damage:

    A fire had caused serious damage to their flat.

    permanent/irreparable/irreversible damage:

    Mining in the area was doing irreparable damage to the environment.

    brain/liver/nerve damage:

    a new drug to treat nerve damage

    storm/flood/fire/bomb damage (=damage caused by a storm, fire etc):

    Experts have been assessing the level of flood damage.

  2. 2
    [uncountable] emotional or mental harm caused to someone

    Many traumatic events may be overcome without lasting damage.

  3. 3
    [uncountable] negative effects on someone or something
    damage to:

    The damage to the bank’s image is extremely serious.

    untold damage (=damage that is impossible to measure):

    The revelations caused untold damage to his political reputation.

     Synonyms and related words
  4. 4


    [plural] legal money that a court orders you to pay someone because you have harmed them or their property
    pay damages :

    Mrs Owen was ordered to pay damages of £6,000.

    award/grant (someone) damages:

    The jury awarded damages of over $9 million to the victims.

    seek/demand damages:

    Brown is seeking damages of $1,500 for each day of his incarceration.

    be denied/refused damages:

    The man was refused damages on the grounds that he had suffered embarrassment but not distress.

    obtain damages:

    The injured party needs to prove the extent of the harm in order to obtain damages.