Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


Any loss or harm to a person or property; relinquishment of a legal right, benefit, or something of value.

Detriment is most frequently applied to contract formation, since it is an essential element of consideration, which is a prerequisite of a legally enforceable contract. To incur detriment means to cement a promise by either refraining from doing something that one has a legal right to do or by doing something that one is not under any legal obligation to do.


noun adulteration, adversity, affliction, aggravation, atrophy, bane, bedevilment, blemish, blow, collapse, contamination, corrosion, corruption, cost, crippling, damage, damnum, decadence, decay, deformation, degeneration, demolishment, deprivation, destruction, detraction, detrimentum, dilapidation, disablement, disadvantage, disintegration, disorder, disturbance, erosion, evil, forfeit, forfeiture, handicap, harm, hurt, impairment, impotence, inadequacy, incommodum, inconvenience, ineffectualness, inefficiency, inexpedience, inexpediency, injuriousness, insufficiency, laming, liability, loss, misfortune, obstacle, poisoning, pollution, prejudice, privation, ruin, ruination, undesirability, undoing, unprofitability, weakness
Associated concepts: legal detriment
See also: damage, disadvantage, disservice, drawback, expense, handicap, harm, hindrance, impairment, injury, mischief, prejudice, sacrifice
References in periodicals archive ?
We have secured the Smith Commission's principle of no detriment for the next five years - and we have ensured there can be no detriment forced on Scotland in the future.
Baroness Verma also asserted to peers: "We considered the risk of detriments arising from an accident or terrorist incident.
At the moment it appears we sustain the city to the detriment of our own interests.
for the Russian base in Armenia, we are confident that the Armenian party will not let using of this base to the detriment of our interests",
In a wider sense, it describes the right of state organs which permits the alteration of a decision to the detriment of the receiver.
Indeed, the media has been full of such tales of people in this and other countries who have made serious financial gains to the complete detriment of others.
The GLBT community has ignored the religious impulses of our nation for way too long, perhaps to our own detriment.
This is said to enable parts to be molded cleaner, with reduced surface microporosity, a source of friction and a detriment to release, according to the company.
Experts predict that it will vanish by 2020, to the lethal detriment of the many people who need its water to survive.
In its latest position paper on Article 82 (concerning abuse of a dominant market position) AmCham EU calls on the EU to adopt a more consumer-oriented approach and to allow "unilateral conduct" if it does not cause consumer detriment.
For Sri Lanka to assume an active role in the international community, Fernando feels English has to be widely used and understood: not to the detriment of other languages, but alongside them.
CFOs are starting to recognize the immense detriment the "structural complexity factor" is to their ability to execute superbly and support profitable growth.