Definition of damning in English:



  • 1(of a circumstance or piece of evidence) strongly suggesting guilt or error.

    ‘I was innocent but the evidence was damning’
    • ‘We passed our damning evidence to the police, who swooped on the companies' premises and arrested the masterminds behind the bogus operation.’
    • ‘After the blow-up, David went to authorities with a box of damning evidence.’
    • ‘If his hair and Natalee's hair is on it, yes it'll be very damning evidence and possibly proof beyond a reasonable doubt.’
    • ‘The doctor gave damning evidence in the trial of Mrs Symons, saying that one of her children, Jenny, had died from being shaken.’
    • ‘Each witness sits on the witness chair and delivers a piece of damning evidence.’
    • ‘Despite its denials and stonewalling, damning evidence has come to light implicating it in the deaths.’
    • ‘As a junior attorney on the case, I recall all too vividly the many hours spent combing through those documents for damning evidence.’
    • ‘There is the possibility, still, that further and far more damning evidence has yet to be divulged.’
    • ‘Frank discovers that the good Reverend may be involved in some shady, sinister dealings when he discovers damning evidence in a wall safe.’
    • ‘Here is the damning evidence of the extent of the government's betrayal.’
    • ‘Suspicion rested on a handful of a details, which the Crown took as damning evidence and for which her defence said there was a perfectly innocent explanation.’
    • ‘The police unearthed some fairly damning evidence against the Freemans, and the list of alleged victims only grew longer.’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, Edmunds's defence team did not attempt to challenge any of this damning evidence.’
    • ‘For some, no amount of damning evidence will sway them from their allegiance.’
    • ‘The inquiry also heard damning evidence that CSL and other Government bodies failed to protect public safety.’
    • ‘Potentially damning physical or forensic evidence is scant in the Peters case.’
    • ‘According to a Sunday newspaper, the damning evidence is contained in an e-mail sent by Jones.’
    • ‘His lawyer uncovered some potentially damning evidence against the opposition.’
    • ‘However some of the damning evidence later proved to be inconclusive.’
    • ‘There is damning evidence that their human rights have been routinely violated over many years and allegations that this has continued until very recently.’
    • ‘It may turn out that there is damning evidence that we have not yet seen.’
    incriminating, condemnatory, condemning, damnatory
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    1. 1.1 Extremely critical.
      ‘a damning indictment of the government's record’
      • ‘One in 10 asthma deaths in Scotland is due to inadequate treatment and widespread ignorance of the condition among health staff, a damning new report has revealed.’
      • ‘A school for children with learning difficulties has been severely criticised and branded ineffective by inspectors in a damning report.’
      • ‘Despite the damning report, education chiefs have welcomed the criticism which they say is balanced and helpful.’
      • ‘A damning critic of the United Nations, he was also the Senate's champion of international law.’
      • ‘Instead of a damning critique he offers redemption through the invocation of a moral imperative.’
      • ‘The damning criticism is contained in a report which also reveals the Isle of Wight's three jails are failing.’
      • ‘Regeneration plans for the town centre have been slated in a damning report by English Heritage.’
      • ‘Both reports are a damning indictment of the criminal negligence of the military.’
      • ‘Hers is a damning indictment of Executive policy and she makes a strong case.’
      • ‘How many more damning reports have to be written before the Government takes epilepsy seriously?’
      • ‘My third and most damning criticism of expanding numbers in further education is an economic one.’
      • ‘Poor financial planning was one of the many criticisms in a damning report on the council by the Audit Commission earlier this year.’
      • ‘These remarks, intended as praise, are in reality the most damning criticism.’
      • ‘Hundreds of mothers with severe postnatal depression are being forced to leave their new-born babies behind to get treatment at Scotland's psychiatric units, a damning report has revealed.’
      • ‘The report was a damning indictment of declining safety standards between 2003 and May 2005.’
      • ‘Listening to Burns, it is difficult to quibble with his damning assessment.’
      • ‘The damning report into e-voting confirmed all the warnings from critics.’
      • ‘Chomsky gave a damning critique of US and British imperialism in the Middle East.’
      • ‘The report on the operation of the Communications Centres Service Centre is very damning.’
      • ‘Not long after this damning report, criticism again rained on the Bank.’
      reproachful, reproving, full of reproof
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