I. damage dam‧age 1 [ˈdæmɪdʒ] noun
1. [uncountable] a bad effect on something that makes it weaker or less successful:
damage to

• The result of this policy will be severe damage to the British economy.

2. [uncountable] physical harm caused to something:

• a fire which caused hundreds of pounds' worth of damage to property

3. flood/​storm/​wind etc damage INSURANCE damage caused by a flood, storm etc:

• The shop suffered severe smoke damage.

apˌparent ˈdamage [uncountable] TRANSPORT
damage that is noticed when goods are being unloaded from a ship and is reported to the ship's owners
4. damages [plural] LAW money that a court orders someone to pay to someone else for harming them or their property, or causing them financial loss:

• The group is facing claims for damages after supplying faulty goods.

• They are being sued for damages by clients who had been advised to invest in an insurance company that went bankrupt.

• A federal jury awarded damages for breach of contract.

ˌactual ˈdamages [plural] LAW
money that a court orders someone to pay to someone else for harming them or their property, to cover the cost of the harm, rather than to punish them:

• The jury's verdict included $17 million in actual damages.

adˌditional ˈdamages [plural] LAW
an additional amount of money that a court orders someone to pay as damages:

• If the plaintiff is seeking additional damages for loss of earning capacity, the defendant must be given proper notice.

ˌcivil ˈdamages [plural] LAW
damages that the court orders someone to pay following a court case between companies or people, using civil law, rather than a case started by a government:

• The manufacturer has not paid civil damages because negligence has not been proven in court.

ˌcompensatory ˈdamages [plural] LAW
another name for actual damages
ˌconsequential ˈdamages [plural] LAW
damages paid by a person or organization, relating to the direct result of their mistake or negligence:

• The company shall not be liable for any incidental or consequential damages resulting from the use of the software.

— compare incidental damages
exˌemplary ˈdamages [plural] LAW
damages that a court orders someone to pay as a punishment, rather than to pay for actual harm:

• The singer is seeking exemplary damages against the newspaper for printing a story claiming that he is an alcoholic.

ˌincidental ˈdamages [plural] LAW
damages paid by a person or organization, relating to the indirect result of their mistake or negligence — compare consequential damages
ˌliquidated ˈdamages
[plural] LAW damages specified in a contract that are payable if a particular thing is not done:

• The government is entitled to deduct liquidated damages of more than £6.9 million for late completion of works.

ˈmoney ˌdamages also ˈmonetary ˌdamages [plural] LAW
damages in the form of money, rather than another type of court judgement
ˌnominal ˈdamages [plural] LAW
a small amount of damages that a court orders someone to pay to show that wrong has been done, but that it did not cause great harm or financial loss:

• The family asked the judge to award at least nominal damages.

ˌnon-ecoˌnomic ˈdamages [plural] LAW
damages that are paid for physical harm that has been done rather than for financial loss:

• Non-economic damages should be paid only to the victims with permanently disabling injuries.

ˌpunitive ˈdamages [plural] LAW
another name for exemplary damages
ˌtreble ˈdamages also ˌtriple ˈdamages [plural] LAW
damages that are calculated on the basis of the financial loss multiplied by three:

• The jury awarded the tour company $235,000 and, under treble damages, the amount climbed to $705,000.

unˌspecified ˈdamages [plural] LAW
when the person asking for damages does not state the amount they are asking for, but lets the court decide:

• The couple filed a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages, claiming that the pension advisor deliberately misled them.

  [m0] II. damage damage 2 verb [transitive]
1. to cause physical harm to something:

• Be careful not to damage the timer mechanism.

• goods damaged in transit

2. to have a bad effect on something in a way that makes it weaker or less successful:

• Taylor felt her reputation had been damaged by the newspaper article.

* * *

damage UK US /ˈdæmɪdʒ/ noun [U]
harm that is done to someone or something that makes them less successful: damage to sth/sb »

The firm was lucky to get away with little damage to its reputation.

do/cause damage (to sth/sb) »

The pensions scandal did a lot of damage to the Government's credibility.

inflict damage on sth/sb »

Public relations disasters could inflict damage on the brand.


The solicitors say their clients will hold the bank liable for any loss and damage suffered as a result of the arrangements.


severe/irreparable/serious damage


economic/financial damage

physical harm that is done to something: »

They asked their insurers to assess the damage so that they could make a claim.

do/cause damage (to sth) »

The government estimates the damage done by the fires at millions of pounds.


Roofs are most likely to suffer damage during a hurricane.


storm/wind/water damage


severe/irreparable/serious damage


environmental/structural damage

damages — Cf. damages
the damage is done — Cf. the damage is done
See also ACTUAL DAMAGES(Cf. ↑actual damages), ADDITIONAL DAMAGES(Cf. ↑additional damages), APPARENT DAMAGE(Cf. ↑apparent damage), CIVIL DAMAGES(Cf. ↑civil damages), COMPENSATORY DAMAGES(Cf. ↑compensatory damages), CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES(Cf. ↑consequential damages), CRIMINAL DAMAGE(Cf. ↑criminal damage), EXEMPLARY DAMAGES(Cf. ↑exemplary damages), INCIDENTAL DAMAGES(Cf. ↑incidental damages), LIQUIDATED DAMAGES(Cf. ↑liquidated damages), MONEY DAMAGES(Cf. ↑money damages), NOMINAL DAMAGES(Cf. ↑nominal damages), NON-ECONOMIC DAMAGES(Cf. ↑non-economic damages), PROPERTY DAMAGE(Cf. ↑property damage), PUNITIVE DAMAGES(Cf. ↑punitive damages), TREBLE DAMAGES(Cf. ↑treble damages), UNSPECIFIED DAMAGES(Cf. ↑unspecified damages)
damage UK US /ˈdæmɪdʒ/ verb [T]
to harm someone or something in a way that makes them less successful: »

The Chancellor is being urged not to take steps that could damage Britain's competitiveness.


They feared that public knowledge of the deal might damage them.

seriously/severely/irreparably damage sb/sth »

He is suing his colleague on the grounds that her accusations severely damaged his reputation.

to physically harm something: »

People who are under-insured won't be able to rebuild if their homes are damaged by a hurricane.

seriously/severely/irreparably damage sth »

The fire completely destroyed five buildings and severely damaged several more.

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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