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commend +‎ -atory


commendatory (comparative more commendatory, superlative most commendatory)

  1. Serving to commend or compliment; complimentary.
    • 1577, Raphael Holinshed et al., The Firste Volume of the Chronicles of England, Scotlande, and Irlande, London: John Hunne, The Historie of England, Kinewulfe, p. 198,[1]
      In the yeare of our Lorde .786. [] Pope Adrian sent two Lega[ts into] Englande [] with letters commendatory vnto Offa king of Mercia []
    • 1693, Stephen Waller (translator), “The Life of Cato the Younger” in The Fourth Volume of Plutarch’s Lives, London: Jacob Tonson, p. 624,[2]
      Pompey had made a Law also, to forbid the custom of making commendatory Orations, on behalf of those that were accused:
    • c. 1726, Alexander Pope, letter to Jonathan Swift dated 8 March, in English Letters and Letter-Writers of the Eighteenth Century, London: George Bell, First Series, 1886, p. 470,[3]
      You received, I hope, some commendatory verses from a Horse, and a Lilliputian, to Gulliver; and an heroic Epistle to Mrs. Gulliver.
    • 1886, Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Chapter 11,[4]
      Some boys had latterly tried to impart gaiety to the ruin by using the central arena as a cricket-ground. But the game usually languished for the aforesaid reason—the dismal privacy which the earthen circle enforced, shutting out every appreciative passer’s vision, every commendatory remark from outsiders—everything, except the sky; and to play at games in such circumstances was like acting to an empty house.
    • 1908, Jack London, The Iron Heel, Chapter 9,[5]
      One and all, the professors, the preachers, and the editors, hold their jobs by serving the Plutocracy, and their service consists of propagating only such ideas as are either harmless to or commendatory of the Plutocracy.
  2. Holding a benefice in commendam.
    a commendatory bishop
    • 1790, Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France, London: J. Dodsley, p. 164,[6]
      The bishoprics, and the great commendatory abbies, were, with few exceptions, held by that order.

Derived terms[edit]


commendatory (plural commendatories)

  1. (obsolete) That which commends; a commendation; eulogy.
    • 1644, John Milton, Areopagitica, London, p. 27,[7]
      To him he adheres, resigns the whole ware-house of his religion, with all the locks and keyes into his custody; and indeed makes the very person of that man his religion; esteems his associating with him a sufficient evidence and commendatory of his own piety.
    • 1674, John Sharp, The things that make for peace delivered in a sermon preached before the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor, and the Court of Aldermen, at Guild-Hall Chappel, upon the 23 of August, 1674, London: Walter Kettilby, pp. 34-35,[8]
      [] what ever did but bear upon it the Image of God and the Superscription of the Holy Jesus, would need no other Commendatories to our Affection, but would upon that alone account be infinitely dear and pretious to us.