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complementary

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adjective com·ple·men·ta·ry \ˌkäm-plə-ˈmen-t(ə-)rē\

Simple Definition of complementary

  • : completing something else or making it better : serving as a complement

  • —used of two things when each adds something to the other or helps to make the other better

  • : going together well : working well together

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of complementary

  1. 1 :  relating to or constituting one of a pair of contrasting colors that produce a neutral color when combined in suitable proportions

  2. 2 :  serving to fill out or complete

  3. 3 :  mutually supplying each other's lack

  4. 4 :  being complements of each other (see 1complement) <complementary acute angles>

  5. 5 :  characterized by the capacity for precise pairing of purine and pyrimidine bases between strands of DNA and sometimes RNA such that the structure of one strand determines the other

complementarily

play \-ˈmen-t(ə-)rə-lē, -(ˌ)men-ˈter-ə-lē, -ˈta-rə-\ adverb

complementariness

play \-ˈmen-t(ə-)rē-nəs\ noun

complementary

noun

Examples of complementary in a sentence

  1. … hot and sour soup encapsulates the Taoist principle central to Chinese culture: yin and yang, the notion of balancing the universe's opposing yet complementary forces. —Rebecca Hays, Cook's Illustrated, January & February 2006

  2. Once Austin got used to what he had on, Jerry was going to talk him into a neck scarf of complementary colors and a cream pullover. —Alice Munro, Atlantic, January 1990

  3. Vann and Ellsberg were the odd couple, difficult men from different worlds satisfying complementary needs in each other. —Neil Sheehan, A Bright Shining Lie, 1988

  4. … it was becoming more and more clear to him that Miss Bart herself possessed precisely the complementary qualities needed to round off his social personality. —Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth, 1905

  5. She wore a new outfit with a complementary scarf.

  6. My spouse and I have complementary goals.



Origin and Etymology of complementary

(see 1complement)


First Known Use: 1829



COMPLEMENTARY Defined for Kids

complementary

play
adjective com·ple·men·ta·ry \ˌkäm-plə-ˈmen-tə-rē\

Definition of complementary for Students

  1. :  serving to make whole or improve something <Their complementary talents make them a great team.>




Medical Dictionary

complementary

play
adjective com·ple·men·ta·ry \ˌkäm-plə-ˈment-ə-rē, -ˈmen-trē\

Medical Definition of complementary

  1. 1:  relating to or constituting one of a pair of contrasting colors that produce a neutral color when combined in suitable proportions

  2. 2:  characterized by molecular complementarity; especially :  characterized by the capacity for precise pairing of purine and pyrimidine bases between strands of DNA and sometimes RNA such that the structure of one strand determines the other

complementarily

\-ˈmen-trə-lē, -(ˌ)men-ˈter-ə-lē, -ˈment-ə-rə-lē\play adverb

complementariness

\-ˈment-ə-rē-nəs, -ˈmen-trē-\play noun




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