Damages are the official amount of money awarded to the winner in a law suit. If you're hurt in a car accident that's another driver's fault, you may end up collecting damages.

The legal term damages usually refers to money that's owed or received to compensate someone for a loss or an injury. If a business owner's negligence — not clearing ice from a sidewalk, for example — causes you to be injured, you can sue her for damages to pay for your broken arm and the days of work you had to miss. Sometimes a court awards "punitive damages" as well, which are specifically intended to punish the defendant.

Definitions of damages
  1. noun
    a sum of money paid in compensation for loss or injury
    synonyms: amends, indemnification, indemnity, redress, restitution
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    (law) redress awarded by a court
    actual damages, compensatory damages, general damages
    (law) compensation for losses that can readily be proven to have occurred and for which the injured party has the right to be compensated
    nominal damages
    (law) a trivial sum (usually $1.00) awarded as recognition that a legal injury was sustained (as for technical violations of a contract)
    exemplary damages, punitive damages, smart money
    (law) compensation in excess of actual damages (a form of punishment awarded in cases of malicious or willful misconduct)
    atonement, expiation, satisfaction
    compensation for a wrong
    double damages
    twice the amount that a court would normally find the injured party entitled to
    treble damages
    three times the amount that a court would normally find the injured party entitled to
    type of:
    something (such as money) given or received as payment or reparation (as for a service or loss or injury)
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘damages'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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