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Detriment: Definition, Example and Related Terms

What is a Detriment ?

Detriment is when someone or something experiences a loss or harm because of an action or decision. Let's imagine you've been saving money in your piggy bank to buy a new video game. One day, your older sibling decides they want to use your money to buy snacks instead and takes it without your permission. You would say you suffered a detriment — because your sibling's action caused you a loss. You can't buy your game now! The word 'detriment' is often used in business and contract talk to refer to situations where a decision or action leads to a negative impact or loss for the business.


  • Scenario Description
    Missed Deadline A project delivery date was missed, resulting in a loss of revenue for the company. This is an example of a detriment.
    Faulty Material Use A manufacturer used poor-quality materials resulting in the production of faulty goods. This action is a detriment to the business.
    Poor Decision Making A business decision leads to loss of customers and sales, causing a detriment.
    Breach of Contract One party breaks the terms of a contract, causing a detriment to the other party.