[ de-truh-muh nt ]
/ ˈdɛ trə mənt /


loss, damage, disadvantage, or injury.
a cause of loss or damage.

Origin of detriment

1400–50; late Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin dētrīmentum loss, damage, equivalent to dētrī- (see detritus) + -mentum -ment

Synonym study

1. See damage. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for detriment

British Dictionary definitions for detriment


/ (ˈdɛtrɪmənt) /


disadvantage or damage; harm; loss
a cause of disadvantage or damage

Word Origin for detriment

C15: from Latin dētrīmentum, a rubbing off, hence damage, from dēterere to rub away, from de- + terere to rub
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

Word Origin and History for detriment



early 15c., from Middle French détriment or directly from Latin detrimentum "a rubbing off; a loss, damage, defeat," from past participle stem of detere "to wear away," figuratively "to weaken, impair," from de- "away" (see de-) + terere "to rub, wear" (see throw (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper