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1. Not causing or incapable of causing harm.
2. Not intended to harm or offend; inoffensive.
a. Of or relating to an error in a trial that would not change the outcome and therefore does not call for a reversal of the case on appeal.
b. Not giving rise to legal liability: an agreement to treat another party's behavior as harmless.

harm′less·ly adv.
harm′less·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.




  1. As incapable of inflicting harm as a butterfly —Anon
  2. Harmless and pleasant as the murmur of book and wind —Robert Buchanan
  3. Harmless as a Fuller Brush salesman —Raymond Chandler

    Invariably topical or “brand name” similes either become obsolete or change when the name is no longer a household word. However, there’s always a new name or catchword to take its place.

  4. Harmless as a moth in a closet of Dacron —Anon
  5. Harmless as an infant at play —William Cowper

    Besides other variants meaning literally harmless (“Harmless as a baby,” ‘Harmless as a sleeping infant’), there are also the more dramatic ones implying danger (‘Harmless as an infant playing with knives/a box of pins/matches’).

  6. Harmless as a paper tiger —Chinese proverb
  7. Harmless as doves —The Holy Bible

    Attribution for the simile is often given to Christina Rosetti’s Sonnet of Sonnets, which contains this line: “She spread about her beauty for a snare, harmless as doves.”

  8. Harmless as leaves —Reynolds Price
  9. Harmless as pigeons —Robinson Jeffers
  10. Harmless as witches that have been robbed of their terror —Ellen Glasgow
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
عَدَم ضَرَر، عَدَم أذى


n (lit, fig)Harmlosigkeit f; (of substance, animal also)Ungefährlichkeit f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


(haːm) noun
damage; injury; distress. I'll make sure you come to no harm; He meant no harm; It'll do you no harm to go.
to cause (a person) harm. There's no need to be frightened – he won't harm you.
ˈharmful adjective
doing harm. Medicines can be harmful if you take too much of them.
ˈharmless adjective
not dangerous or liable to cause harm. Don't be frightened of that snake – it's harmless.
ˈharmlessly adverb
ˈharmlessness noun
out of harm's way
in a safe place. I'll put this glass vase out of harm's way, so that it doesn't get broken.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
As Josie was not "speaking" to Jane just then she had to subside into comparative harmlessness.
"I swear by God Omnipotent," exclaimed Don Quixote at this, "your highness has hit the point; and that some vile illusion must have come before this sinner of a Sancho, that made him see what it would have been impossible to see by any other means than enchantments; for I know well enough, from the poor fellow's goodness and harmlessness, that he is incapable of bearing false witness against anybody."
Now, indeed, was Numa, the lion, reduced to the harmlessness of Bara, the deer.
And the Madman seized nervously on his pestle and mortar, to show the Doctor the harmlessness of his pursuits, and went on pounding--click, click, click.
Her harmlessness and her fancy for dressing in white excited a certain amount of sympathy.
She was very tentative at first, until she divined my harmlessness. I am to receive a handsome fee--two hundred and fifty dollars--as befits the man who, though a radical, once ran for governor.
He advanced with tentative caution, made sure of the harmlessness of the man beside the fire, and joined him.
I had thus several opportunities of watching the other enemy under fire, and had almost convinced myself of the systematic harmlessness of his own shooting, when a more glaring incident occurred.
A final thought on the oppossum is its harmlessness. Although they are capable of getting an occasional chicken, there are a lot more formidable predators to worry about in that regard.
And yet, having been drawn in by the sweetness and candor of their manner, by the harmlessness of most of their doings, we may come to understand why these women feel as they do.
Until, like recovering alcoholics, we can look back on an hour, a day, a week, a year, of comparative harmlessness. (71) Harmlessness is a start.
His parents assured him about the harmlessness of dreams, the safety of airplanes, the security of malls.