Damn With Faint Praise Meaning
(idiomatic) To provide praise that is so minimal or inconsequential as to suggest criticism or a negative regard for the object.
Example: 1735, Alexander Pope, Epistle to Doctor Arbuthnot:
Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer,
And without sneering teach the rest to sneer.
1887, Donn Piatt, Memories of the Men who Saved the Union, p. 296:
The patronizing manner in which the hero of Nashville is damned with faint praise would amuse were it not so exasperating.
1917, Lucy Maud Montgomery, "The Alpine Path: The Story Of My Career" in Everywoman's World:
Four of them returned it with a cold, printed note of rejection; one of them â€œdamned with faint praise.â€ They wrote that â€œOur readers report that they find some merit in your story, but not enough to warrant its acceptance.â€
2010 Nov. 16, Maureen Dowd, "The Way They Were," New York Times (retrieved 6 Oct 2013):
And then, finally, when W. could avoid it no longer, he mentioned Vice, damning with faint praise: â€œDick Cheneyâ€™s advice was consistent and strong.â€