damn with faint praise

Idioms & Phrases

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."

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: damn well
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for damn with faint praise
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing damn with faint praise
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature