From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishharmharm1 /hɑːm $ hɑːrm/ ●●○ S3 W3 noun [uncountable] 1 HARM/BE BAD FORdamage, injury, or trouble caused by someone’s actions or by an event The scandal did his career a lot of harm. Our children deserve protection from harm. → grievous bodily harm2 → come to no harm/not come to any harm3 → mean no harm/not mean any harm4 → there’s no harm in doing something/it does no harm to do something5 → it wouldn’t do somebody any harm to do something6 → out of harm’s wayCOLLOCATIONSverbsdo (something) harmTry to choose products that do the least harm to the environment.cause (somebody/something) harmVery small amounts of the chemical cause no lasting harm.inflict harm (=cause harm, especially physical harm)None of us wants to inflict harm on another human being.suffer harmA child can be taken into care if he is or is likely to suffer significant harm.prevent harmHe was put in a mental hospital to prevent harm to others.adjectivesgreat/serious/significant harmIf you drink too much alcohol, you can do yourself serious harm.physical harmThey were afraid that he would do them some actual physical harm.psychological/emotional harmDepriving a child of love does irreparable emotional harm.environmental harmThe report highlights the environmental harm caused by transporting goods around the world.irreparable harm (=that cannot be made better)The scandal has caused irreparable harm to his career.lasting/permanent harmThe injury caused him discomfort but no lasting harm.untold harm (=so much harm that it cannot be described completely)This type of abuse can cause a child untold harm.potential harmPeople need to be more aware of the potential harm of being overweight.phrasesdo more harm than good (=cause more problems rather than improve a situation)If you don’t warm up properly, exercise may do more harm than good.no harm done spoken (=used to tell someone not to worry about something they have done)‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to push you.’ ‘Don’t worry, no harm done.’where’s the harm in that? spoken (=used when you think that something seems reasonable, although other people may not)Sure, he gets attention when he performs at a charity event, but where’s the harm in that?COMMON ERRORS ► Don’t say ‘give harm’ or ‘make harm’. Say do harm or cause harm.
Examples from the Corpusharm• I had never done him any harm, yet I seemed to be the object of a deliberate campaign.• Several people were injured, but most escaped harm.• Unless you have a specific allergy, there is no great harm in taking something to relieve an isolated headache.• No great harm in that, from a cameraman; or so I thought at the time.• Stripped of his power to inflict harm on me, he seemed terribly ordinary.• He knew his father was a good man, a kind man, honest, meaning no harm to anyone.• A few weeks back here in the World won't do my career serious harm.• Very small amounts can be dealt with by the body causing no long term harm.• The trouble is that, though the harm so far may be slight, the legitimate anxiety is not.harmharm2 ●●○ verb [transitive] 1 HARM/BE BAD FORto have a bad effect on something chemicals that harm the environmentRegisterIn everyday English, people usually say that something is bad for something rather than that it harms something:chemicals that are bad for the environment2 INJUREto physically hurt a person or animal The kidnappers didn’t harm him, thank God.3 → harm somebody’s image/reputationTHESAURUSharm to have a bad effect on someone or somethingMany working mothers said having children harmed their careers.A little hard work never harmed anyone.damage to harm something badly. Damage is more serious than harmHis reputation was damaged and his career was in ruins.The affair has damaged people’s confidence in the government.be bad for somebody/something to be likely to harm someone or somethingToo much fatty food is bad for you.All this rain is bad for business.be detrimental to something formal to be bad for somethingThe new housing development will be detrimental to the character of this small town.impair formal to harm something, especially someone’s ability to do something or the correct working of a systemAny amount of alcohol that you drink will impair your ability to drive.His vision was impaired.prejudice /ˈpredʒədɪs/ to have a bad effect on the future success of somethingDon’t do anything to prejudice our chances of winning. → See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusharm• The most important consideration is that the environment is not harmed.• He would do anything, I think, to harm Arthur, even ally himself with the Saxons.• When a national industry is harmed by imports, governments can raise tariffs without violating trade agreement.• These companies fish for tuna using methods that do not harm dolphins.• As Polycarp prayed in silence, the flames encircled him, without harming him.• If it was going to harm our sales it would have done it by now.• Has it helped or harmed recipients?• Any scandal will certainly harm the company's reputation.• There are fears that a trade agreement will harm the economy.• These new export restrictions are sure to harm the economy.• The doom of all who harmed them was certain.• Walking out without giving any notice will only harm your career.Origin harm1 Old English hearm