causing damage; having a bad effect on somebody/something damaging consequences/effects damaging to somebody/something Lead is potentially damaging to children's health.Extra examples Smoking is damaging to health. These new measures will do nothing to raise school standards: they may be positively damaging. This scandal could prove seriously damaging to the government. A strike would hit public services and be politically damaging for the government. Halon gas is far more damaging to the ozone layer than CFCs. Lead is potentially damaging to children’s health. This was one of the most damaging allegations made against him.