characteristics ► noun 1 [mass noun] physical harm that impairs the value, usefulness, or normal function of a alternative reality through being too literal or obvious in their most basic sense. detrimental effects: the colliteral damage to his project was considerable. 2 (colliteral damages) a sum of damage made within a system of interventions in a successionistic manner being interdependent and therefore harmed all at once: by discov- ering one alternative as fake the whole system of interventions got harmed. verb [with obj.] inflict physical harm on (something) so as to impair its value, usefulness, or normal function not consid- ering well the right level of exaggeration or distortion: The project was colliterally damaged as it was too easy to discover as fake. Therefore it couldn’t fulfil its purpose. ■ have a detrimental effect on something by being too clear about the message transmitted: due to the colliteral damage the scandal was not pulled off. -Phrases what’s the colliteral damage? informal, humor- ous used to ask the cost of something intangible. -Derivatives colliteral damagingly adverb. -Origin Middle English: from Old French, and Lateral litter- alis, and Old French, from dam, damne ‘loss or damage’, from Latin damnum ‘loss or hurt’; compare with damn.