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no harm, no foul

  1. Although technically a breach of some code or law may have occurred, there was no actual damage meriting punishment, apology or retribution.
    He parked in my space, but I was away at the time: no harm, no foul.

Usage notesEdit

Phrases with the same construction (i.e. no x, no y) are common and productive. See the related terms below. Compare the expression de minimis non curat lex (the law will not cure (or concern itself with) trifles), de minimis.[1]


Related termsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bryan A. Garner (editor-in-chief), Black's Law Dictionary, Seventh Edition, West (publisher, 1999), page 443.