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From Medieval Latin *dētrīmentālis, from Latin dētrīmentum (harm), from dēterō (to rub off, wear), from dē- (down, away) + terō (to rub or grab).


  • IPA(key): /ˌdɛtɹɪˈmɛntəl/
  • (file)


detrimental (comparative more detrimental, superlative most detrimental)

  1. Causing damage or harm.
    Synonyms: harmful, damaging, injurious; see also Thesaurus:harmful
    Antonym: beneficial
    Smoking tobacco can be detrimental to your health.
    • 1838 (date written), L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], “(please specify the page)”, in Lady Anne Granard; or, Keeping up Appearances. [], volume I, London: Henry Colburn, [], published 1842, →OCLC, pages 142–143:
      "The fact is," continued he, "Lady Anne fears that my visits here may prove detrimental to what she considers your best interests. I thought myself an old, safe friend; but, as that cannot be explained to every body, she fears that I may keep off other and more eligible lovers."
    • 2023 July 26, 'Industry Insider', “Ticket offices RIP?”, in RAIL, number 988, page 68:
      Decisions made at the DfT inevitably reflect a London-centric experience, with a comparison being made with the closure of ticket offices throughout the London Underground network. This is not judged to have been detrimental, but there is a simple zonal fares system that is hardly comparable with the range of ticket types used on the national rail network.

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  • IPA(key): /detɾimenˈtal/ [d̪e.t̪ɾi.mẽn̪ˈt̪al]
  • Rhymes: -al
  • Syllabification: de‧tri‧men‧tal


detrimental m or f (masculine and feminine plural detrimentales)

  1. detrimental