Definition of harm verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

  

harm

 verb
verb
NAmE//hɑrm//
 
harm somebody/somethingVerb Forms present simple I / you / we / they harm
 
he / she / it harms
 
past simple harmed
 
-ing form harming
 
 
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  •  to hurt or injure someone or to damage something He would never harm anyone. Pollution can harm marine life. These revelations will harm her chances of winning the election. 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
  • Idioms
    not harm/touch a hair on somebody's head
     
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    to not hurt someone physically in any way
    See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: harm