Like, if you get in a fender bender and there is some scraped paint, you would say "the damage was..."
Such damage is sometimes referred to as "cosmetic". Oxforddictionaries.com defines this sense of the word as "affecting only the appearance of something rather than its substance".
Superficial is the word you're looking for.
: concerned only with what is obvious or apparent : not thorough or complete
: affecting only the outer part or surface of something : not deep or serious
"the damage was superficial"
I've heard this called, just a flesh wound. See also: but a scratch.
From the source:
King Arthur: [after Arthur's cut off both of the Black Knight's arms] Look, you stupid bastard, you've got no arms left!
Black Knight: Yes I have.
King Arthur: Look!
Black Knight: It's just a flesh wound.
It's a blemish:
- A small mark that makes the appearance of something less attractive.
- An imperfection that mars or impairs; a flaw.
not important or significant, of little consequence.
In the Black Knight sequence in Monty Python's Holy Grail, King Arthur and the Black Knight fight until Arthur cuts off Black Knight's left arm, to the following dialogue:
King Arthur: Now, stand aside, worthy adversary!
Black Knight: 'Tis but a scratch!
So, "the damage was but/just a scratch".
For minor car damage, a "ding"-- like a dent, but cute and little. It's a little more specific than "cosmetic" or "superficial.
Part of speech/usage: "I got dinged!" "It's just a ding."
Anything with a metal shell, or a finish, can get dinged: laptops, furniture, airplanes, yachts...
If the damage is from wear and tear, you could use "abrade"
'Light' as in "The aircraft was hit by enemy fire but damage was light." Or, "The car was struck by a rock but suffered only light damage."
Word for damage that isn't serious, mostly visual and not hindering the function of the thing:
"The damage was disfiguring."
protected by Matt E. Эллен♦ Nov 27 '15 at 10:30
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