From Middle English scatheles, skathelæs (“scathless”), from Old English *sceaþlēas, equivalent to scathe + -less. Cognate with Old Frisian skadlos, schadlos (“scatheless”), Dutch schadeloos (“harmless”), Middle Low German schadelōs, Middle High German schadelōs, Danish skadesløs (“harmless”), Swedish skadeslös (“harmless”), Icelandic skaðlaus (“harmless”).
- Without scathe or harm; without mischief, injury, or damage; unharmed.
1922, Francesco Saverio Nitti, Peaceless Europe:
- With the exception, perhaps, of Great Britain, whose privileged insular situation, enormous mercantile navy and flourishing trade in coal have enabled her to resume her pre-war economic existence almost entirely, no country has emerged scatheless from the War. The rates of exchange soar daily to fantastic heights, and insuperable barriers to the commerce of European nations are being created.
1915, Irvin S. Cobb, Paths of Glory:
- The houses round about have fared better, in the main, than the mill, though none of them has come scatheless out of the fight.
1884, H. Rider Haggard, Dawn:
- He felt like a man who has just come scatheless through some horrible crisis, and once more knows the sweet sensation of safety.