Harm is a deliberate injury or damage to someone or something. A playground bully is a mean kid who causes harm to other kids.

Harm is both a noun and a verb — when you inflict harm on your brother, you harm him. Physically hurting someone is only one way to harm them. If a classmate spreads a mean rumor about you, that also harms you. The Old English root word is hearm, which means "hurt" and "pain," but also "evil" and "insult."

Definitions of harm

n any physical damage to the body caused by violence or accident or fracture etc.

hurt, injury, trauma
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brain damage
injury to the brain that impairs its functions (especially permanently); can be caused by trauma to the head, infection, hemorrhage, inadequate oxygen, genetic abnormality, etc.
birth trauma
physical injury to an infant during the birth process
blast trauma
injury caused the explosion of a bomb (especially in enclosed spaces)
bleeding, haemorrhage, hemorrhage
the flow of blood from a ruptured blood vessel
blunt trauma
injury incurred when the human body hits or is hit by a large outside object (as a car)
bruise, contusion
an injury that doesn't break the skin but results in some discoloration
a lump on the body caused by a blow
an injury caused by exposure to heat or chemicals or radiation
a displacement of a part (especially a bone) from its normal position (as in the shoulder or the vertebral column)
electric shock
trauma caused by the passage of electric current through the body (as from contact with high voltage lines or being struck by lightning); usually involves burns and abnormal heart rhythm and unconsciousness
break, fracture
breaking of hard tissue such as bone
cryopathy, frostbite
destruction of tissue by freezing and characterized by tingling, blistering and possibly gangrene
entry of foreign matter into a blood vessel
penetrating injury, penetrating trauma
injury incurred when an object (as a knife or bullet or shrapnel) penetrates into the body
an injury resulting from getting some body part squeezed
state of being torn or burst open
bite, insect bite, sting
a painful wound caused by the thrust of an insect's stinger into skin
injury to a muscle (often caused by overuse); results in swelling and pain
whiplash, whiplash injury
an injury to the neck (the cervical vertebrae) resulting from rapid acceleration or deceleration (as in an automobile accident)
wale, weal, welt, wheal
a raised mark on the skin (as produced by the blow of a whip); characteristic of many allergic reactions
lesion, wound
an injury to living tissue (especially an injury involving a cut or break in the skin)
pull, twist, wrench
a sharp strain on muscles or ligaments
raw wound
a wound that exposes subcutaneous tissue
marks resembling the wounds on the crucified body of Christ
abrasion, excoriation, scrape, scratch
an abraded area where the skin is torn or worn off
cut, gash, slash, slice
a wound made by cutting
a torn ragged wound
a wound resulting from biting by an animal or a person
bee sting
a sting inflicted by a bee
flea bite
sting inflicted by a flea
mosquito bite
a sting inflicted by a mosquito
haemorrhagic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke
stroke caused by the rupture of a blood vessel in the brain
the purple or black-and-blue area resulting from a bruise
a minute red or purple spot on the surface of the skin as the result of tiny hemorrhages of blood vessels in the skin (as in typhoid fever)
black eye, mouse, shiner
a swollen bruise caused by a blow to the eye
electric burn
a burn caused by heat produced by an electric current
scorch, singe
a surface burn
a burn cause by hot liquid or steam
first-degree burn
burn causing redness of the skin surface
second-degree burn
burn causing blisters on the skin and superficial destruction of the dermis
third-degree burn
burn characterized by destruction of both epidermis and dermis
comminuted fracture
fracture in which the bone is splintered or crushed
complete fracture
break involving the entire width of the bone
compound fracture, open fracture
bone fracture associated with lacerated soft tissue or an open wound
compression fracture
fracture in which the bone collapses (especially in short bones such as vertebrae)
depressed fracture
fracture of the skull where the bone is pushed in
displaced fracture
fracture in which the two ends of the broken bone are separated from one another
fatigue fracture, stress fracture
fracture resulting from excessive activity rather than a specific injury
capillary fracture, hairline fracture
a fracture without separation of the fragments and the line of the break being very thin
incomplete fracture
fracture that does not go across the entire width of the bone
impacted fracture
fracture in which one broken end is wedged into the other broken end
closed fracture, simple fracture
an uncomplicated fracture in which the broken bones to not pierce the skin
dislocation of a joint
separation of an epiphysis from the long bone to which it is normally attached without fracture of the bone
a forward dislocation of one vertebra over the one beneath it producing pressure on spinal nerves
hernia, herniation
rupture in smooth muscle tissue through which a bodily structure protrudes
herniated disc, ruptured intervertebral disc, slipped disc
a painful rupture of the fibrocartilage of the disc between spinal vertebrae; occurs most often in the lumbar region
a painful injury to a joint caused by a sudden wrenching of its ligaments
immersion foot, trench foot
resembling frostbite but without freezing; resulting from exposure to cold and wet
cerebral hemorrhage
bleeding from a ruptured blood vessel in the brain
blood extravasation
the leakage of blood from a vessel into tissues surrounding it; can occur in injuries or burns or allergic reactions
bleeding into the interior chamber of the eye
bleeding from the uterus that is not due to menstruation; usually indicative of disease (as cervical cancer)
epistaxis, nosebleed
bleeding from the nose
bleeding of the gums
Type of:
health problem, ill health, unhealthiness
a state in which you are unable to function normally and without pain

n the occurrence of a change for the worse

damage, impairment
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detriment, hurt
a damage or loss
deformation, distortion
a change for the worse
ladder, ravel, run
a row of unravelled stitches
a detriment or sacrifice
warp, warping
a moral or mental distortion
Type of:
alteration, change, modification
an event that occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another

n the act of damaging something or someone

damage, hurt, scathe
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damage that results in a reduction of strength or quality
defacement, disfiguration, disfigurement
the act of damaging the appearance or surface of something
wound, wounding
the act of inflicting a wound
damage inflicted by fire
an act that despoils the innocence or beauty of something
the act of burning with steam or hot water
Type of:
change of integrity
the act of changing the unity or wholeness of something

v cause or do harm to

“These pills won't harm your system”
make sick or ill
choke, gag
cause to retch or choke
Type of:
injure, wound
cause injuries or bodily harm to

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