damn with faint praise


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.

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 (somebody/something) with faint praise

to show only slight approval for someone or something By qualifying his support, you could argue he was damning these leaders with faint praise. Maybe I'm damning them with faint praise, but the Yankees are easier to like than the Atlanta Braves in this series.
See also: damn, faint, praise

damn somebody/something with faint praise

to praise something or someone in such a weak way that it is obvious you do not really admire them She damned Reynolds with faint praise, calling him one of the best imitators in the world.
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