[ hahrm-lis ]
/ ˈhɑrm lɪs /


without the power or desire to do harm; innocuous: He looks mean but he's harmless; a harmless Halloween prank.
without injury; unhurt; unharmed.

Nearby words

  1. harm's way,
  2. harmattan,
  3. harmensen, jacob,
  4. harmful,
  5. harmfully,
  6. harmlessly,
  7. harmolodics,
  8. harmonia,
  9. harmonic,
  10. harmonic analysis


    hold harmless, Law. to relieve from responsibility or liability for any damage or loss.Also save harmless.

Origin of harmless

1250–1300; Middle English. See harm, -less

Related formsharm·less·ly, adverbharm·less·ness, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for harmless

British Dictionary definitions for harmless


/ (ˈhɑːmlɪs) /


not causing any physical or mental damage or injury
unlikely to annoy or worry peoplea harmless sort of man
Derived Formsharmlessly, adverbharmlessness, noun

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 harmless



c.1300, "uninjured," from harm (n.) + -less. Meaning "undamaged" is from late 14c. Related: Harmlessly; harmlessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper