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35 Words that Change History


[hahrm] /hɑrm/
physical injury or mental damage; hurt:
to do him bodily harm.
moral injury; evil; wrong.
verb (used with object)
to do or cause harm to; injure; damage; hurt:
to harm one's reputation.
Origin of harm
before 900; Middle English; Old English hearm; cognate with German Harm, Old Norse harmr
Related forms
harmer, noun
self-harming, adjective
unharmed, adjective
unharming, adjective
1, 2. See damage. 3. maltreat, abuse.
1. benefit. 3. help. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for harmed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I didn't believe them when they said you wouldn't be harmed, I was afraid.

    Bear Trap Alan Edward Nourse
  • The Comandante pledges himself, as a hidalgo, that you shall not be harmed.

  • He is not reported to have harmed any one, neither did he commit any damage in the church.

    Welsh Folk-Lore Elias Owen
  • How then can I be in danger, who am immortal, and not to be harmed of men?

    The World's Desire H. Rider Haggard and Andrew Lang
  • A cleric declares that he was at heart not a bad child but had been harmed by bad examples.

British Dictionary definitions for harmed


physical or mental injury or damage
moral evil or wrongdoing
(transitive) to injure physically, morally, or mentally
Derived Forms
harmer, noun
Word Origin
Old English hearm; related to Old Norse harmr grief, Old High German harm injury, Old Slavonic sramǔ disgrace
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for harmed



Old English hearm "hurt, evil, grief, pain, insult," from Proto-Germanic *harmaz (cf. Old Saxon harm, Old Norse harmr, Old Frisian herm "insult; pain," Old High German harm, German Harm "grief, sorrow, harm"), from PIE *kormo- "pain."


Old English hearmian "to hurt" (see harm (n.)). It has ousted Old English skeþþan "scathe" in all but a few senses. Related: Harmed; harming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for harmed


high-speed antiradiation missile
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with harmed
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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