Idioms

Origin of damn

1250–1300; Middle English dam(p)nen < Old French dam(p)ner < Latin damnāre to condemn, derivative of damnum damage, fine, harm

SYNONYMS FOR damn

Related forms

damn·er, nounpre·damn, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for damn with faint praise

Word Origin for damn

C13: from Old French dampner, from Latin damnāre to injure, condemn, from damnum loss, injury, penalty
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Culture definitions for damn with faint praise

damn with faint praise

To criticize someone or something indirectly by giving a slight compliment: “When the critic remarked that Miller's book was ‘not as bad as some I've read,’ she was obviously damning it with faint praise.”


The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with damn with faint praise (1 of 2)

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.”


Idioms and Phrases with damn with faint praise (2 of 2)

damn

In addition to the idioms beginning with damn

  • damned if I do, damned if I don't
  • damn well
  • damn with faint praise

also see:

  • do one's damnedest
  • give a damn
  • not worth a dime (tinker's damn)

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.