• synonyms


See more synonyms for harm on Thesaurus.com
  1. physical injury or mental damage; hurt: to do him bodily harm.
  2. moral injury; evil; wrong.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to do or cause harm to; injure; damage; hurt: to harm one's reputation.
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Origin of harm

before 900; Middle English; Old English hearm; cognate with German Harm, Old Norse harmr
Related formsharm·er, nounself-harm·ing, adjectiveun·harmed, adjectiveun·harm·ing, adjective


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Synonym study

1, 2. See damage.


1. benefit. 3. help.


noun Military.
  1. a U.S. air-to-surface missile designed to detect and destroy radar sites by homing on their emissions.
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Origin of HARM

H(igh-speed) A(nti) R(adiation) M(issile)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for harms

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • We'll demonstrate what we can do if he harms Inverness and Brady.

    The Death-Traps of FX-31

    Sewell Peaslee Wright

  • But the law does not even seek to indemnify a man from all harms.

    The Common Law

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

  • It is so adjusted as to soak up all evidence that helps it, and shed all that harms it.

    Medical Essays

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

  • I've had new cushings put in, and my harms in goold on the back.


    William Makepeace Thackeray

  • The harms on the cheers is the harms of the Carabas family.'

    The Book of Snobs

    William Makepeace Thackeray

British Dictionary definitions for harms


  1. physical or mental injury or damage
  2. moral evil or wrongdoing
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  1. (tr) to injure physically, morally, or mentally
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Derived Formsharmer, 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

Word Origin and History for harms



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

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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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with harms


see do one wrong (harm); out of harm's way.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.