give the devil his due

Idioms & Phrases

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]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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