1. Expression of approval, commendation, or admiration.
2. The extolling or exaltation of a deity, ruler, or hero.
3. Archaic A reason for praise; merit.
tr.v. praised, prais·ing, prais·es
1. To express warm approval of, commendation for, or admiration for.
2. To express a feeling of veneration or gratitude to (a deity); worship or glorify.
[Middle English preise, from preisen, to praise, from Old French preisier, from Late Latin pretiāre, to prize, from Latin pretium, price; see per-5 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: praise, acclaim, commend, extol, laud
These verbs mean to express approval or admiration. To praise is to voice approbation, commendation, or esteem: "She was enthusiastically praising the beauties of Gothic architecture" (Francis Marion Crawford).
Acclaim usually implies hearty approbation warmly and publicly expressed: The film was highly acclaimed by many critics. Commend suggests moderate or restrained approval, as that accorded by a superior: The judge commended the jury for their hard work. Extol suggests exaltation or glorification: "that sign of old age, extolling the past at the expense of the present" (Sydney Smith).
Laud connotes respectful or lofty praise: "Comtosook was lauded as the most picture-perfect hamlet in the state" (Jodi Picoult).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.