Wounds and injuries


What is the difference between a wound and an injury? In general, I would say that an injury is something that a person suffers as a result of an accident, while a wound is something that is inflicted by an assailant, so that to move to the verb, I am injured if a wall collapses on me because the wind has blown it over, but I am wounded if the wall collapses because someone planted a bomb near to it.

Because this is how I distinguish between these words, I was surprised that the BBC has been reporting that people have been wounded at the Grand Mosque in Mecca following the toppling of a crane during bad weather. Two weeks ago, when an aircraft crashed in Sussex during an airshow, the survivors were described as being injured.

Either way, it has been a terrible accident, but with all the attacks going on worldwide at the moment, the reports seemed to imply some malice behind the crane’s collapse which I don’t think was there.


  1. I would agree with you about how I expect the verbs to be used, but the nouns are a different matter, and you did open your posting with a question about nouns.

    I would expect a wound to involve the skin being cut or grazed, whereas an injury might be a broken bone or an internal injury of some sort. You dress wounds in first aid, not injuries.

    (I am not a medic and my first aid training is very out of date.)

  2. In the Uxbridge English Dictionary, I think the difference is that injury means “like India”.

  3. Paul – Understood!

  4. Influence from law, perhaps? In law, a wound breaks the skin.

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