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 periodicals archive ?
And Justin revealed he always tries to pay her compliments.
Veteran Clotilde (Celine Sallette) is almost too old to sell her body but she continues to draw admirers with her legs, while Lea (Adele Haenel) secretly loathes all of the men who pay her compliments.
It was not that they didn't pay her compliments. One of them said she was beautiful.
So does Jamie often pay her compliments? "After 12 years Jamie never pays me compliments," laughs Louise.
So does Jamie, 36, often pay her compliments? "After 12 years, Jamie never pays me compliments," laughs Louise.
Yesterday Sarah Chivers was named Slimmer of the Year - and revealed that her children's schoolmates now pay her compliments.