Last week, I offered a list of synonyms for the word criticize. To avert criticism (admonishment, censure, chastising, and so on), I offer here a roster of synonyms for its antonym, praise, in that word’s verb form as well as when it’s used as a noun.
1. Acclaim: To applaud or praise; also a noun referring to the action of applause or cheering.
2. Acknowledge: To recognize someone or something for services rendered; the word also has the connotation of “to confirm rights or authority.”
3. Adore: To honor or worship in a religious sense, although its meaning has extended to “to be fond of, to admire.”
4. Adulate: “To express excessive praise.” This rarely used verb form of adulation has a connotation of flattery. (See flatter below.)
5. Applaud: To express approval in general, as well as to clap hands or otherwise praise nonverbally.
6. Belaud: To praise, but the sense is of excessive acclaim.
7. Bless: To praise or to glorify in a religious sense; the word also has a secular sense of “to approve” as well as “to favor” (the latter in usage such as “blessed with remarkable talent”).
8. Carol: To praise with song, or in a like manner.
9. Celebrate: To publicly honor in a secular sense as well as a religious one.
10. Chant: A close synonym of carol and hymn.
11. Cheer: To cheer in applause or to express triumph.
12. Cite: To formally call attention to for praise. However, this term also has an opposite meaning of “to reprimand,” as well as the senses of “to quote” or “to refer to,” so the context should be clear.
13. Commemorate: To observe a ceremony of remembrance, or to provide a memorial.
14. Commend: To praise with approval, or to recommend.
15. Compliment: To communicate respect or admiration for someone to that person or another.
16. Crack up: Slang used to refer to someone or something that may or may not be as worthy of praise as previously thought; generally restricted to phrases such as “not all it’s cracked up to be.”
17. Deify: To glorify, as if to equate the person being praised with a god; this sense coexists with the literal religious sense of according someone the status of a god.
18. Emblazon: Originally meant to inscribe or decorate a heraldic device or bearings; now, the sense is extended to praising, especially in writing, as if to permanently establish the subject as praiseworthy.
19. Eulogize (British English: eulogise): To praise in speech or writing; usually, the connotation is that the subject of praise is deceased.
20. Exalt: To praise extensively.
21. Extol (or extoll): To praise generously.
22. Fete: To honor with a celebration, or to honor in general.
23. Flatter: To praise insincerely or only for selfish motives. The word also has similar senses of “to depict with excessive favor” or “to present to one’s advantage,” as well as “to deceive, as in “I flatter myself that I acted wisely.”
24. Glorify: To praise with the intent of making the subject appear glorious, but it also means “to make something or someone seem to be better than it or they really is.”
25. Hail: To greet enthusiastically as a show of approval; the term also has a mundane sense of “to call or greet.”
26. Honor: To express respect or admiration.
27. Hymn: A close synonym of carol and chant.
28. Idolize: To worship, with a connotation of excessive praise.
29. Laud: To praise; also, capitalized, a religious ceremony. (The adjective form is laudable.)
30. Magnify: To praise, in the sense, as the etymology suggests, of making someone or something appear greater than they or it is.
31. Mention: To identify someone or something for mild praise, often in the form of a consolation prize called “Honorable Mention.”
32. Rave: To praise enthusiastically.
33. Recognize: To publicly thank someone for their service or otherwise indicate appreciation.
34. Recommend: To endorse or propose as commendable, in addition to the more pedestrian connotations such as “to advise.”
35. Renown: To offer praise. (In its more common noun form, it means “fame.”)
36. Resound: To praise, or to become one praised, with the sense of loud approval. The word has an additional sense, more commonly used, of echoing or reverberating.
37. Rhapsodize: To praise excessively, from the noun form, rhapsody, which refers to a literary work that rouses emotions (originally, it denoted recitation of an epic poem).
38. Salute: To praise or honor, in addition to the sense of gesturing to show respect or to otherwise acknowledge someone as a courtesy.
39. Tout: To promote or endorse. It also means
“to spy,” especially in the sense of obtaining information about a racehorse to improve one’s betting odds.
40. Worship: To extravagantly praise, as if the subject were a deity.