Definition of harm verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  

harm

 verb
verb
BrE BrE//hɑːm//
 
; NAmE NAmE//hɑːrm//
 
Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they harm
BrE BrE//hɑːm//
 
; NAmE NAmE//hɑːrm//
 
he / she / it harms
BrE BrE//hɑːmz//
 
; NAmE NAmE//hɑːrmz//
 
past simple harmed
BrE BrE//hɑːmd//
 
; NAmE NAmE//hɑːrmd//
 
past participle harmed
BrE BrE//hɑːmd//
 
; NAmE NAmE//hɑːrmd//
 
-ing form harming
BrE BrE//ˈhɑːmɪŋ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈhɑːrmɪŋ//
 
Injuries
 
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  •  harm somebody/something to hurt or injure somebody or to damage something He would never harm anyone. Pollution can harm marine life. These revelations will harm her chances of winning the election. He claimed that he had not intended to harm the girl. Misusing drugs in pregnancy can seriously harm your baby. Synonymsdamagehurt harm impairThese words all mean to have a bad effect on somebody/​something.damage to cause physical harm to something, making it less attractive, useful or valuable; to have a bad effect on somebody/​something’s life, health, happiness or chances of success:The fire badly damaged the town hall. emotionally damaged childrenhurt (rather informal) to have a bad effect on somebody/​something’s life, health, happiness or chances of success:Hard work never hurt anyone.harm to have a bad effect on somebody/​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 (rather formal) to damage somebody’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 related entries: Injuries
  • Word Origin Old English hearm (noun), hearmian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to German Harm and Old Norse harmr ‘grief, sorrow’.Idioms to be kind and gentle and unwilling to cause unhappiness
    not harm/touch a hair of somebody’s head
     
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    to not hurt somebody physically in any way
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: harm