harm


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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, no, 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, no

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 exacerbate the problem, rather than making it better, often in the process of trying to help. 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. Doug means well, but he usually does more harm than good when he tries to help with the sorting.
See also: good, harm, more

harm a hair on (one's) head

To hurt or injure one in any way. 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! He wouldn't dare harm a hair on your head—not when I'm around.
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, no

wouldn't harm a fly

Is 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

mean (someone) no harm

To have no intention of causing injury, offense, or negative effects (to someone). I'm so sorry that my comments got you fired—I swear, I meant no harm! Please, put down the gun, I mean you no harm.
See also: harm, mean, no

not mean (someone) any harm

To have no intention of causing injury, offense, or negative effects (to someone). I'm so sorry that my comments got you fired—I swear, I didn't mean any harm! Please, put down the gun, I don't mean you any harm.
See also: any, harm, mean, not

come to no harm

To not receive or undergo injury, damage, or mistreatment. If you follow the instructions and pay us the money, I guarantee that your son will come to no harm. We must ensure that civilians come to no harm during the operation.
See also: come, harm, no

not come to harm

To not receive or undergo injury, damage, or mistreatment. If you follow the instructions and pay us the money, I guarantee that your son will not come to harm. We must ensure that civilians don't come to harm during the operation.
See also: come, harm, not

not harm a hair on (one's) head

To not hurt or injure someone in even the slightest degree. They had better not harm a hair on your head, I'll go to the police straight away!
See also: hair, harm, head, not, on

not touch a hair on (one's) head

To not hurt or injure someone in even the slightest degree. They had better not touch a hair on your head, I'll go to the police straight away!
See also: hair, head, not, on, touch

no harm done

There was no real damage or seriously bad outcome (as a result of something), so there is no need to worry or get angry about it. Hey, stop shouting! Your brother didn't break the toy, this piece just popped off, see? There, I fixed it, no harm done. A: "Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry, I didn't see you standing there!" B: "It's OK, you barely grazed me. No harm done!"
See also: done, harm, no

out of harm's way

Not or no longer in a place, condition, or situation that might result in one's harm or peril. We need to get all these bystanders out of harm's way before we try and put the fire out. You're so anxious to keep your children out of harm's way that you're going to end up denying them a lot of valuable life experiences.
See also: of, out, way

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, no

*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: someone, 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

or

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, no, 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, no, 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, no

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, no, 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, no
References in periodicals archive ?
amp;') X may make Y suffer a harm, h, in doing a good deed, g, only if either (a) Y consents (or would consent) to X's doing so, (b) were Y in a position to bring about g at the cost of suffering h herself, Y would be morally required to bring about g and suffer h, or (c) X has no permissible alternative to doing so.
For Cohen, then, the harm principle is defensible independent of any consensus.
The person harmed regains some of what has been lost, the person who has done the harm contributes positively and the whole community benefits from greater safety and cohesion.
8220;We will also be covering implications and impact of on-going self harm, circumventing situations and circumstances leading to self harm behaviour.
The claim, therefore, behind the offense principle is one of universal privilege to hurt the feelings of others; it is not a factual claim that there is no harm at all.
One of the great attractions of harm as a subject is that it allows Linklater to build bridges between those pluralist accounts of international society concerned with mere coexistence and those that seek to ground and develop broader solidarist moral commitments.
Withholding highly efficacious medication because of inappropriate concerns about rare potential problems is as detrimental as profligate use of drugs with a narrow gap between benefit and harm.
She continued: "Self harm is an idea that is alien to a lot of people, as human beings go quite a long way to avoid pain, for instance we don't put our fingers in the fire a second time.
Civil society engagement has been variable in harm reduction initiatives in the region.
Perhaps most significant, there is now no time limit during which the predicted harm must occur.
harm can be used of anything that causes suffering or loss.
Most countries in the region responded to the increasing injection drug use with repressive measures that served to aggravate rather than alleviate harm related to drug use.
This second skin, meant to shield the self from further harm, nevertheless has the effect of inhibiting a fluid or balanced exchange between inside and outside, ultimately inhibiting relationality and communication with others (Turp, "Self-Harm" 235).
In the chapter on criminal theory in his recently published The Grammar of Criminal Law, George Fletcher distinguishes three "different foci for thinking about why conduct qualifies as crime": violating a duty, causing harm, and infringing a norm.
irreparable harm of an extraordinarily grave kind on others.