[ sab-uh-tahzh, sab-uh-tahzh ]
/ ˈsæb əˌtɑʒ, ˌsæb əˈtɑʒ /


any underhand interference with production, work, etc., in a plant, factory, etc., as by enemy agents during wartime or by employees during a trade dispute.
any undermining of a cause.

verb (used with object), sab·o·taged, sab·o·tag·ing.

to injure or attack by sabotage.

Nearby words

  1. sable, cape,
  2. sablefish,
  3. sabora,
  4. saboraim,
  5. sabot,
  6. saboteur,
  7. sabra,
  8. sabre,
  9. sabre-rattling,
  10. sabre-toothed tiger

Origin of sabotage

1865–70; < French, equivalent to sabot(er) to botch, orig., to strike, shake up, harry, derivative of sabot sabot + -age -age

Related formsun·sab·o·taged, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sabotage

British Dictionary definitions for sabotage


/ (ˈsæbəˌtɑːʒ) /


the deliberate destruction, disruption, or damage of equipment, a public service, etc, as by enemy agents, dissatisfied employees, etc
any similar action or behaviour


(tr) to destroy, damage, or disrupt, esp by secret means

Word Origin for sabotage

C20: from French, from saboter to spoil through clumsiness (literally: to clatter in sabots)

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 sabotage
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper