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February 9, 2012 - Word of the Day: harm


The word "harm" means to cause injury or hurt someone or something.

You can use it as a verb:

  • If anyone tries to harm you, call the police.
  • You'll harm yourself if you get too close to the fire.
  • Too much television harms the minds of young children.
  • Ahmed harmed his chances of getting into a good college because of his poor grades in high school.
  • Ashley harmed her back when she tried to pick up some heavy furniture.

The word "harm" is often used as a noun:

  • Cigarette smoking causes a tremendous amount of harm to your body.
  • The harm that was done to the boy's spinal cord was permanent, and he remained paralyzed.
  • No harm was done to any of the hostages held by the militants.
  • There's no harm in trying to do something new, even if you aren't successful.

An adjective can be made by adding "ful" or "less" to "harm."

  • That snake is harmless. It doesn't have any fangs or poison. (harmless = not dangerous)
  • Kevin thought the joke he played on his friends was harmless, but they were really upset with him.
  • Drinking too much soda pop is harmful to your teeth and your body. (harmful = dangerous)
  • Exposure to a lot of radiation can be harmful.

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