backhanded compliment

Definition of backhanded compliment

:a compliment that implies it is not really a compliment at all
  • She paid me a backhanded compliment when she said my work was "surprisingly good."

Word by Word Definitions

backhanded play
  1. : indirect, devious

  2. : using or made with a backhand

compliment play
  1. : an expression of esteem, respect, affection, or admiration

  2. : formal and respectful recognition : honor

  3. : best wishes : regards

  1. : to express esteem, respect, affection, or admiration to : to pay a compliment to

  2. : to present with a token of esteem


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