to praise someone or something formally or publicly His photograph was highly commended. An example of commend is giving someone an excellent job reference.
His photograph was highly commended in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.
And first, I commend you on your model...
Rows of houses, each of them different and pleasing with their spacious gardens, are replaced by purely functional blocks of flats which have nothing more to commend them than over-praised 'modern conveniences'.