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Laudable vs. laudatory

The adjective laudatory, meaning expressing praise, describes the expression of praise. Laudable, meaning praiseworthy, applies to the person, thing, or event receiving the praise. For example, a very laudable movie might receive laudatory reviews from the critics.

Examples

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Compassion is a laudable trait but a disastrous basis for government policy. [Vancouver Sun]

Gov. Andrew Cuomo distributed a laudatory video praising the state accord and legislative leaders. [Hornell Evening Tribune]

Part of the reason for the intense interest in infants was Labour’s laudable desire to improve social mobility. [The Economist]

What troubled me was the suspicion that future museum exhibits would depict the whole shuttle program in laudatory terms, instead of treating it as an foolish diversion of national resources. [Foreign Policy]

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