damn (someone or something) with faint praise

(redirected from damn him with faint praise)

damn (someone or something) with faint praise

To criticize or undermine someone or something by showing a lack of enthusiasm. I needed you to support me in there! The committee probably won't approve of my research project now that you've damned it with faint praise.
See also: damn, faint, praise

damn someone or something with faint praise

Fig. to criticize someone or something indirectly by not praising enthusiastically. The critic did not say that he disliked the play, but he damned it with faint praise. Mrs. Brown is very proud of her son's achievements, but damns her daughter's with faint praise.
See also: damn, faint, praise

damn with faint praise

Compliment so feebly that it amounts to no compliment at all, or even implies condemnation. For example, The reviewer damned the singer with faint praise, admiring her dress but not mentioning her voice . This idea was already expressed in Roman times by Favorinus (c. a.d. 110) but the actual expression comes from Alexander Pope's Epistle to Doctor Arbuthnot (1733): "Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, and, without sneering, teach the rest to sneer."
See also: damn, faint, praise

damn someone/something with faint praise

If you damn someone or something with faint praise, you praise them, but in such a weak way that it is obvious that you do not really have a high opinion of them. In recent months he has consistently damned the government with faint praise. Note: People occasionally use by instead of with. He has been damned by faint praise throughout his career even though he has scored all manner of important goals. Note: You can also just talk about faint praise. Mr Robinson called him `the most obvious candidate'. That sounds like faint praise. Note: This expression was first used by the English writer Alexander Pope in his `Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot' (1735): `Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, And, without sneering, teach the rest to sneer.'

damn someone or something with faint praise

praise someone or something so unenthusiastically as to imply condemnation.
This expression comes from the poet Alexander Pope's ‘Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot’ ( 1735 ): ‘Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, And without sneering, teach the rest to sneer’.
1994 Canadian Defence Quarterly True there is the occasional condescending nod to those who served, but this frequently amounts to damning with faint praise.

damn somebody/something with faint ˈpraise

praise somebody/something so little that you seem to be criticizing them/it: All he said was that I was ‘capable’. Talk about damning someone with faint praise!
References in periodicals archive ?
To say that James realized an impressive array of achievements is to damn him with faint praise.
That's not to damn him with faint praise but after seasons plagued by otherwise steadfast keepers dropping random clangers, a bit of above average consistency between the posts is most welcome.
FABIO To say this was an all-action showing Tfrom the Brazilian would be to damn him with faint praise.
FABIO To say this was an all-action showing from the Brazilian would be to damn him with faint praise.
It is easy sometimes to damn him with faint praise because of his counter-attacking style.
Anybody reading this book for the first time will surely agree that describing Hassanein--whose fascinating life came to an end in 1946 when his car collided with a British military vehicle--as 'one of Egypt's greatest explorers' is to damn him with faint praise.
They pay lip service to their leader but damn him with faint praise, forgetting he was brought in because the youthful incumbent, Charles Kennedy, and the equally youthful contender, Mark Oaten, were guilty of a fair degree of misjudgment.
Not to damn him with faint praise, but Kevin Hennessey has taught me most of what I know about consolidated returns.
His unequivocal support came despite some fears in the Obama camp that Clinton, out of loyalty to his wife, might try to steal their nominee's thunder or damn him with faint praise.
But the people who acclaimed the fairy tale have moved on now and in their place are doubters who damn him with faint praise.