Detrimental refers to something that causes harm, damage, or injury to someone or something.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Harmful, damaging, hurtful, injurious, destructive, adverse, negative, disadvantageous


Beneficial, advantageous, helpful, constructive, positive, advantageous

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun detriment, detriments
Verb None
Adjective detrimental
Adverb detrimentally

Example Sentences

  • Smoking is detrimental to your health and can lead to lung cancer and heart diseases.

  • The drought had a detrimental effect on the crops, causing them to wither and die.

  • Too much exposure to the sun can be detrimental to your skin, causing premature aging and skin cancer.

  • The company’s decision to cut corners and use cheap materials proved to be detrimental to the quality of their product.


The word “detrimental” is commonly used in a variety of contexts, such as health, business, politics, and social issues, to describe something that has a negative impact on a person or a group of people. For example, smoking is widely known to be detrimental to health and can lead to serious illnesses such as lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke. In business, making poor decisions can be detrimental to a company’s success and financial stability. In politics, policies that are detrimental to the environment can have serious consequences for future generations.

The word “detrimental” can be used on its own or in conjunction with other words to create compound adjectives, such as “economically detrimental” or “socially detrimental.” The prefix “de-” means “down” or “away,” while the root “triment” comes from the Latin word “trimentum,” which means “damage” or “injury.” The suffix “-al” indicates that the word is an adjective. Thus, the word “detrimental” can be broken down into its parts to understand its meaning.

It’s important to note that the word “detrimental” should not be confused with “determined,” which has a completely different meaning. “Determined” refers to a person who is committed to achieving a goal or overcoming an obstacle, while “detrimental” refers to something that causes harm or damage.