Dictionary

1complement

noun com·ple·ment \ˈkäm-plə-mənt\

: something that completes something else or makes it better

: the usual number or quantity of something that is needed or used

grammar : a word or group of words added to a sentence to make it complete

Full Definition of COMPLEMENT

1
a :  something that fills up, completes, or makes perfect
b :  the quantity, number, or assortment required to make a thing complete <the usual complement of eyes and ears — Francis Parkman>; especially :  the whole force or personnel of a ship
c :  one of two mutually completing parts :  counterpart
2
a :  the angle or arc that when added to a given angle or arc equals a right angle in measure
b :  the set of all elements that do not belong to a given set and are contained in a particular mathematical set containing the given set
c :  a number that when added to another number of the same sign yields zero if the significant digit farthest to the left is discarded —used especially in assembly language programming
3
:  the musical interval required with a given interval to complete the octave
4
:  an added word or expression by which a predication is made complete (as president in they elected him president and beautiful in he thought her beautiful)
5
:  the thermolabile group of proteins in normal blood serum and plasma that in combination with antibodies causes the destruction especially of particulate antigens (as bacteria and foreign blood corpuscles)

Examples of COMPLEMENT

  1. The scarf is a perfect complement to her outfit.
  2. a full complement of farm animals
  3. her usual complement of attendants
  4. a ship's complement of officers
  5. President in they elected her president and to work in he wants to work are different kinds of complements.
  6. With the loss of just one American and four Japanese carriers, including their complements of aircraft and many of their superbly trained fliers … , Midway … put the Japanese navy at a disadvantage from which it never recovered. —David M. Kennedy, Atlantic, March 1999

Illustration of COMPLEMENT

Origin of COMPLEMENT

Middle English, from Latin complementum, from complēre to fill up, complete, from com- + plēre to fill — more at full
First Known Use: 14th century

2complement

verb com·ple·ment \ˈkäm-plə-ˌment\

: to complete something else or make it better

Full Definition of COMPLEMENT

intransitive verb
obsolete
:  to exchange formal courtesies
transitive verb
1
:  to complete or enhance by providing something additional :  to be complementary to <the illustrations complement the text>
2
obsolete :  compliment

Examples of COMPLEMENT

  1. The shirt complements the suit nicely.
  2. a delicious dinner complemented by a splendid dessert
  3. The soup and salad complement each other well.
  4. Carrots often work even better than sticks, so I propose a skinny subsidy to complement the fat tax. —Jonathan Rauch, Atlantic, December 2002

Origin of COMPLEMENT

(see 1complement)
First Known Use: 1602
COMPLEMENTS Defined for Kids

1complement

noun com·ple·ment \ˈkäm-plə-mənt\

Definition of COMPLEMENT for Kids

1
:  something that makes whole or better <The cool salad was the perfect complement to the spicy dish.>
2
:  the number or quantity of something that is needed or used <the ship's complement of crew>

2complement

verb com·ple·ment \ˈkäm-plə-ˌment\
com·ple·ment·edcom·ple·ment·ing

Definition of COMPLEMENT for Kids

:  to serve as something necessary to make whole or better <Find a hat that complements your costume.>
Medical Dictionary

complement

noun com·ple·ment \ˈkäm-plə-mənt\

Medical Definition of COMPLEMENT

1
:  a group or set (as of chromosomes or DNA) that is typical of the complete organism or one of its parts—see chromosome complement
2
:  a complementary color
3
:  the thermolabile group of proteins in normal blood serum and plasma that in combination with antibodies causes the destruction especially of particulate antigens (as bacteria and foreign blood corpuscles)

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3 ENTRIES FOUND:
Next Word in the Dictionary: complementalPrevious Word in the Dictionary: complectionAll Words Near: complement
July 03, 2015
interpellate Hear it
to formally question a public official
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