American English

Definition of damage verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



damage something/somebodyVerb Forms present simple I / you / we / they damage
he / she / it damages
past simple damaged
-ing form damaging
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 to harm or spoil something or someone The fire badly damaged the town hall. Several vehicles were damaged in the crash. Smoking seriously damages your health. The allegations are likely to damage his political career. emotionally damaged children Topic CollocationsInjuriesbeing injured have a fall/an injury receive/suffer/sustain a serious injury/a hairline fracture/a gunshot wound/a concussion/whiplash injuries hurt/injure your ankle/back/leg damage the brain/an ankle ligament/your liver/the optic nerve/the skin pull/strain/tear a hamstring/ligament/muscle/tendon sprain/twist your ankle/wrist break a bone/your collarbone/your leg/three ribs fracture/crack your skull break/chip/knock out/lose a tooth burst/perforate your eardrum dislocate your finger/hip/jaw/shoulder/elbow bruise/cut/graze your arm/knee/shoulder burn/scald yourself/your tongue bang/bump/hit your elbow/head/knee (on/against something)treating injuries treat somebody for burns/a head injury/a stab wound examine/clean/dress/bandage/treat a bullet wound repair a damaged/torn ligament/tendon/cartilage amputate/cut off an arm/a finger/a foot/a leg/a limb put on (formal) apply/take off a Band-Aid™/a sterile dressing/a bandage need/require/put in/get/take out stitches put on/rub on (formal) apply cream/ointment/lotion have/receive/undergo physical therapy Thesaurusdamagehurt harm impairThese words all mean to have a bad effect on someone or something.damage to cause physical harm to something, making it less attractive, useful, or valuable; to have a bad effect on someone or something's health, happiness, or chances of success:The fire badly damaged the town hall. emotionally damaged childrenhurt (somewhat informal) to have a bad effect on someone or something's life, health, happiness, or chances of success:Hard work never hurt anyone.harm to have a bad effect on someone or something's life, health, happiness, or chances of success:Pollution can harm marine life.damage, hurt, or harm?Hurt is slightly less formal than damage or harm, especially when it is used in negative statements:It won't hurt him to have to wait a bit. It won't damage/harm him to have to wait a bit.Harm is also often used to talk about ways in which things in the natural world, such as wildlife and the environment, are affected by human activity.impair (somewhat formal) to damage someone's health, abilities, or chances:Even one drink can impair driving performance.Patterns to damage/hurt/harm/impair somebody's chances to damage/hurt/harm somebody's interests/reputation to damage/harm/impair somebody's health to seriously/greatly damage/hurt/harm/impair somebody/something to badly/severely damage/hurt/impair somebody/something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: damage