harmless

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EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English harmles, from Old English *hearmlēas, from Proto-Germanic *harmalausaz ‎(without harm; harmless), equivalent to harm +‎ -less.

Cognate with German harmlos ‎(harmless), Danish harmløs ‎(harlmess), Swedish harmlös ‎(harmless).

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

harmless ‎(comparative more harmless, superlative most harmless)

  1. Incapable of causing harm or danger.
  2. Not intended to harm; inoffensive.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 5, in A Cuckoo in the Nest:
      The most rapid and most seductive transition in all human nature is that which attends the palliation of a ravenous appetite. [] Can those harmless but refined fellow-diners be the selfish cads whose gluttony and personal appearance so raised your contemptuous wrath on your arrival?
  3. Safe.

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