If something is prejudicial, it's unfairly biased or damaging. If you've already decided that you don't like your new biology teacher before you've even met her, you're treating her in a prejudicial way.

While prejudicial can be used as a synonym for prejudiced or biased, it's more commonly used to simply mean "damaging." A child's temper tantrum is prejudicial to the teacher's control of a preschool class. And a negative opinion piece in the newspaper about a local car dealer might be prejudicial to its business — in other words, it might hurt car sales. The Medieval Latin root is prejudicialis, "injurious."

Definitions of prejudicial
  1. adjective
    tending to favor preconceived ideas
    synonyms: prejudicious
  2. adjective
    (sometimes followed by 'to') causing harm or injury
    “the reporter's coverage resulted in prejudicial publicity for the defendant”
    synonyms: damaging, detrimental, prejudicious
    causing or capable of causing harm
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