Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

it wouldn't do (someone) any harm (to do something)

It would or may be good, pragmatic, or beneficial for someone (to do something). You know, it wouldn't do you any harm to comb your hair from time to time. I know that the managers are trying to cut costs, but it wouldn't do them any harm to treat us to a staff lunch every once in a while. Jonathan should try and spend more time with his mother. It wouldn't do him any harm, after all.
See also: any, harm

there is no harm in (someone's) doing (something)

Doing something may be good, pragmatic, or beneficial, and will not cause any problems or harm. The contractor might not be willing to go any lower on the price, but there's no harm in asking. Sure, you might not be accepted for the PhD program, but there's no harm in your trying, is there?
See also: harm, there

it does no harm (for someone) to do (something)

Doing something may be good, pragmatic, or beneficial, and will not cause any problems or harm. The contractor might not be willing to go any lower on the price, but it does no harm to ask. Sure, you might not be accepted for the PhD program, but it does no harm for you to try, does it?
See also: does, harm

come to harm

To encounter an unpleasant situation, often one involving injury or damage. If anyone comes to harm in this operation, you will have to answer to the chief. My car came to harm during the storm when a tree branch fell on it.
See also: come, harm

do more harm than good

To try to help but create more problems in the process. I'm worried that I did more harm than good by applying that tourniquet by myself. I should have just waited for the paramedics to get here.
See also: good, harm, more

harm a hair on (one's) head

To hurt or injure someone. This phrase is often used in the negative. If I find that he harmed a hair on your head, I'll go to his house right now!
See also: hair, harm, head, on

no harm, no foul

If there was no bad outcome to an action, then there's no need to be angry or upset about it. A: "Oh, excuse me! I'm so sorry for knocking over your glass!" B: "It's OK, it was empty. No harm, no foul!"
See also: foul

wouldn't harm a fly

To be particularly shy, diffident, or timid by nature. My brother is a very sweet, warm-hearted man who wouldn't harm a fly. How can you suspect him of committing this crime?
See also: fly, harm

come to harm

to experience something bad; to get damaged or harmed. I sincerely hope that you do not come to harm. I hope no one comes to harm.
See also: come, harm

*in harm's way

Fig. liable to be harmed; subject to potential causes of harm. (*Typically: be ~; get ~; put someone ~.) Soldiers are expected to know what to do when they are in harm's way.
See also: way

No harm done.

It is all right. No one or nothing has been harmed. It's okay. No harm done. A: I am sorry I stepped on your toe. B: No harm done.
See also: done, harm

*out of harm's way

Fig. not liable to be harmed; away from any causes of harm. (*Typically: be ~; get ~; get someone ~.) We should try to get all the civilians out of harm's way.
See also: of, out, way

do someone wrong

Also, do someone damage or harm . Injure someone; be unfaithful or disloyal; act unjustly or unfairly toward someone. For example, John's done me wrong, and I intend to tell him so, or She did him real damage when she started that rumor: The first term dates from the late 1300s; the substitutions of damage and harm are newer. However, while these locutions are still current, a more common modern usage is to turn them into verbal phrases-that is, wrong someone, harm someone, damage someone.
See also: wrong

out of harm's way

In a safe condition or place, as in We fenced the yard to keep the children out of harm's way. This idiom was first recorded about 1661.
See also: of, out, way

wouldn't hurt a fly


wouldn't harm a fly

If someone wouldn't hurt a fly or wouldn't harm a fly, they are very kind and gentle. She was such a lovely girl, who wouldn't have hurt a fly. He is, he insists, a pacifist, who would not harm a fly.
See also: fly, hurt

out of harm's way

COMMON If someone or something is out of harm's way, they are in a safe place away from danger or from the possibility of being damaged. For parents, this is an easy way of keeping their children entertained, or simply out of harm's way. Workers scrambled to carry priceless objects out of harm's way.
See also: of, out, way

there's no harm in doing something

COMMON People say there's no harm in doing something to mean that it will not cause problems and may have a good result. They are not always willing to take on untrained workers, but there's no harm in asking. As I see it, there is no harm in cooperating with the police.
See also: harm, something

wouldn't hurt (or harm) a fly

used to emphasize how inoffensive and harmless a person or animal is.
See also: fly, hurt

not harm a hair of someone's head

not cause someone the slightest harm.
See also: hair, harm, head, not, of

out of harm's way

in a safe place.
1996 Frank McCourt Angela's Ashes Take down the Pope and hide him in the coal hole…where he won't be seen and he'll be out of harm's way.
See also: of, out, way

there is no harm in —

the course of action specified may not guarantee success but is at least unlikely to have unwelcome repercussions.
1997 Arundhati Roy The God of Small Things He decided that since she couldn't have a husband there was no harm in her having an education.
See also: harm, there

he, she, etc. wouldn’t harm/hurt a ˈfly

he, she, etc. is kind and gentle, and would not hurt anyone: The dog may look very fierce, but he wouldn’t hurt a fly.
See also: fly, harm, hurt

not harm/touch a hair of somebody’s ˈhead

not hurt somebody physically in any way at all: If he harms a hair of my daughter’s head, I’ll kill him.
See also: hair, harm, head, not, of, touch

ˌno ˈharm done

(spoken) used to tell somebody not to worry because they have caused no serious damage or injury: Forget it, Dave, no harm done.
See also: done, harm

not come to (any) ˈharm


come to no ˈharm

not be injured, badly treated or damaged, etc: The child will come to no harm if she stays there.
See also: come, harm, not

out of harm’s ˈway

in a place where somebody/something cannot cause or suffer injury, accident, loss, etc: Most people think that dangerous criminals should be locked up out of harm’s way.You should put these glasses out of harm’s way. They’re too valuable to use every day.
See also: of, out, way

there’s no harm in (somebody’s) doing something


it does no harm (for somebody) to do something

used to tell somebody that something is a good idea and will not cause any problems: He may say no, but there’s no harm in asking.It does no harm to ask.
See also: harm, something

mean (somebody) no ˈharm


not mean (somebody) any ˈharm

not have any intention of hurting somebody: Try not to worry about what he said. I know you thought he was rude, but he didn’t mean any harm by it.
See also: harm, mean
References in periodicals archive ?
It is within this framework that this Article will explore the historical transformation of the harm principle in legal philosophy and rhetoric.
An upgrade to existing HARM missiles, HCSM dramatically increases effectiveness against even the most modern enemy radar while reducing the possibility of collateral damage.
It is a survey that is carried out on one day per month and allows teams to measure harm and the proportion of patients that are 'harm free' from self-harm, violence and aggression, restraint, physiological safety and omissions of medication.
and Canadian peoples, understands harm in a community context.
Health Minister Jim Wells said: Harm to any adult resulting from abuse, exploitation or neglect is simply unacceptable.
Animal harm includes injuring and torturing, extreme neglect killing, poaching, illegal capture and trade.
Self harm is an increasing problem in the UK and across the globe, especially with young people.
Data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has revealed that the region has almost triple the rate of self harm hospital admissions compared with London.
Linklater here engages in a sustained reflection on the core theoretical issues surrounding the problem of harm in world politics.
LONDON - One in 12 adolescents intentionally harms themselves, but the behavior persists into young adulthood in only 10% cases, findings of a large, population-based, longitudinal study show.
The number needed to harm (NNH) is calculated in the same way.
Figures published by the 2011 Children and Young Peoples Wellbeing Monitor for Wales indicate that incidents of young people being hospitalised as a result of self harm have risen from 650 per 100,000 to 900.
Under the old law, the petitioner was required to allege and prove that the harm the respondent was predicted to cause (if not committed) was: (1) "serious"; (2) "physical"; and (3) likely to occur "in the near future.
Access to harm reduction services such as needle exchange, substitution therapy and other low-threshold services designed to meet the health needs of drug users is improving but remains low, estimated at less than 9% of IDU [2].