pay (one) a compliment

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pay (one) a compliment

To compliment one; to give one a piece of praise. It took me a little while to realize that he was paying me a compliment. It isn't often she pays her employees compliments, so you should really feel proud.
See also: compliment, pay

pay someone compliment

Fig. to give someone a compliment. Tom paid Bill a compliment when he told him he was intelligent. Mary was very gracious when Anne paid her a compliment.
See also: compliment, pay

pay a compliment

Express praise or commendation to someone, as in Meredith wanted to pay Christopher a compliment so she told him she liked his new haircut . This expression uses pay in the sense of "give something that is due." [c. 1700]
See also: compliment, pay
References in classic literature ?
"Upon my word, Dorian, Miss Sibyl knows how to pay compliments."
I would like, as most speakers have done, to pay compliments to the CDC and its chairman for a job well done.
Steve later explains, 'That's the way we pay compliments in Hollywood-they're like regular compliments, but with a slight passive-aggressive dig at the end.'
More pay compliments. More make an effort to be ...
*Learn to pay compliments to people you disagree with.
His voice was rich and could pay compliments in gentle tones or threaten when voice and eyes were on the attack.
It is only right to pay compliments to some of the other people who have had very respectable seasons.
The Catalan is an FA Cup winning manager and speaks glowingly about it but next season is the time for him to also pay compliments to the League Cup.
I'm not here to pay compliments to the mighty Dan Harris but to a book he has written, "10 percent Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works -- A True Story.''
Yesterday the diva took time for a meet and greet at Mall of the Emirates where she was gracious enough to say cheese many a time, sign autographs, and even pay compliments to others, Tweeting, " Had a crazy time with @jordy_cobelens @twsteel in the Emirates mall!
Gerrard was happy to pay compliments in person to Ibrahimovic.
"I must say, they are the best team we have played against this season and I want to pay compliments to Queens Park Rangers.
As we seem to read so many complaints about one thing or another, I thought it's time to pay compliments now and then when such promptness is shown.
"I pay compliments to Roma, who have played excellent football and believed in it to the end, but it is no coincidence that Inter have been champions three years running."