Also found in: Dictionary, Legal, Wikipedia.
1. Literally, products that have become inferior or unsellable as the result of being damaged or impaired in some way. They sold me damaged goods and wouldn't refund my money when I went to return them!
2. A person who is seen as emotionally or psychologically unstable as the result of some traumatic experience. (Possibly derogatory.) Growing up with abusive parents has left me as damaged goods.
3. A person whose reputation has been damaged, corrupted, or tarnished. The young CEO became damaged goods after news of his insider trading spread—now he can't even get a job flipping burgers.
4. dated, derogatory A woman who is considered unmarriageable or otherwise inferior due to having engaged in sexual intercourse before or outside of marriage. I once thought that she was the fairest, purest woman in town, but now that I know she had illicit relations with another man, she is nothing but damaged goods to me.
A person, especially an unmarried woman who is no longer a virgin, as in A person who has sex before marriage is not considered damaged goods in this day and age . This pejorative expression transfers the reduced value of materials (stock, provisions, etc.) marred in some way to women who have had a sexual experience. [Early 1900s]