damn with faint praise, to

(redirected from to damn with 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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

damn with faint praise, to

To compliment so slightly that it amounts to no compliment at all, or even the reverse, a condemnation. The Roman writer Favorinus said, about a.d. 110, that it is more shameful to be praised faintly and coldly than to be censured violently. The practice was taken up early on, especially by literary critics. The classic quotation is from Alexander Pope’s Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot (1733). In poking fun at the critic Joseph Addison, here called Atticus, Pope said he would “Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, and, without sneering, teach the rest to sneer.” See also left-handed compliment.
See also: damn, faint
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
The Mayor of London knows how to damn with faint praise.
This is not to damn with faint praise, however, since NatGeo's field guide is one of the best available.
No mention, now of all times, of the commission's withering criticism of the council's failure to embrace diversity and equality, or of the decision to damn with faint praise by assessing the council as "working adequately".
There's a large part of me that wants to be kind; to find positives rather than negatives; to damn with faint praise rather than criticise if something is lacking.
At least, added this reader to damn with faint praise, "your classified section is still believable." Ouch!
I hate to damn with faint praise but this is, without doubt, the worst- written, worst-produced and worst-performed piece of television I have seen in my entire existence.
He obviously considers it cute to damn with faint praise. He should be aware that, contrary to the headline referring to 'amateurs,' the four soloists are all professional singers of repute who all contribute greatly to the musical life of this area.