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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 A derogatory term for 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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
damaged goodsa person who is regarded as inadequate or impaired in some way. informal
2001 Business Week Magazine Although Chirac looks like damaged goods, no other conservative has the stature to make a serious run for the presidency.
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