give the devil his due


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.
Related to give the devil his due: without a hitch

give the devil his/her due

To acknowledge the good in someone who is otherwise regarded unfavorably. That guy annoys me, but he is a hard worker—I have to give the devil his due.
See also: devil, due, give

give the devil his due

 and give the devil her due
Fig. to give your foe proper credit (for something). (This usually refers to a person who has been evil-like the devil.) She's very messy in the kitchen, but I have to give the devil her due. She bakes a terrific cherry pie. John is a bit too nosy, but he keeps his yard clean and is a kind neighbor. I'll give the devil his due.
See also: devil, due, give

give the devil his due

Give credit to what is good in a disagreeable or disliked person. For example, I don't like John's views on education, but give the devil his due, he always has something important to say , or I don't like what the new management has done, but give the devil his due, sales have improved . [Late 1500s]
See also: devil, due, give

give the devil his due

if someone or something generally considered bad or undeserving has any redeeming features these should be acknowledged. proverb
See also: devil, due, give

give the devil his due

To give credit to a disagreeable or malevolent person.
See also: devil, due, give
References in periodicals archive ?
Chesterton, Father Neuhaus always seems to give the devil his due.
To give the devil his due or at least to give the devil's favourite book it's due it does have a few good points -- for example everything is made very easy to find thanks to the large and extensive contents and index sections -- but this doesn't even slightly make up for all of the bad points that pull the book down to irretrievable depths.
Leaders in Congress have made a deal with the devil, and now they're having to give the devil his due.
But give the devil his due, he is a smart and talented misogynist.
To give the devil his due, the book has its little insights here and there.
To give the devil his due, he gave me the exact information he had given to me on an earlier, similar occasion.