no harm, no foul
Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- Encapsulation of the idea that although technically a breach of some code or law may have occurred there is no need for punishment, apology or retribution if no actual damage occurred.
- He parked in my space but I was away at the time: no harm, no foul.
- the ends justify the means
- de minimis non curat lex (“the law will not cure (or concern itself with) trifles”), de minimis
Phrases with the same construction are common and productive. See the related terms below.
- ^ Bryan A. Garner (editor-in-chief), Black's Law Dictionary, Seventh Edition, West (publisher, 1999), page 443.