compliment


1com·pli·ment

noun \ˈkäm-plə-mənt\

: a remark that says something good about someone or something

: an action that expresses admiration or approval

Full Definition of COMPLIMENT

1
a :  an expression of esteem, respect, affection, or admiration; especially :  an admiring remark
b :  formal and respectful recognition :  honor
2
plural :  best wishes :  regards <accept my compliments> <compliments of the season>

Examples of COMPLIMENT

  1. He told her he admired her paintings and she returned the compliment by saying that she was a fan of his sculptures.
  2. When customers recommend our company to friends and family members, we consider that to be the highest compliment we can get.
  3. Boys in the Midwest grow up without a word of praise, their parents fearful that a compliment might make them vain … —Garrison Keillor, WLT: A Radio Romance, 1991

Origin of COMPLIMENT

Middle French, from Italian complimento, from Spanish cumplimiento, from cumplir to be courteous — more at comply
First Known Use: 1598

2com·pli·ment

verb \ˈkäm-plə-ˌment\

: to say nice things about (someone or something) : to pay a compliment to (someone or something)

Full Definition of COMPLIMENT

transitive verb
1
:  to express esteem, respect, affection, or admiration to :  to pay a compliment to
2
:  to present with a token of esteem

Examples of COMPLIMENT

  1. <complimented her on her election victory>
  2. She was forever complimenting Ziba's exotic appearance and asking for her viewpoint on various international issues. —Anne Tyler, Digging to America, 2006

Origin of COMPLIMENT

(see 1compliment)
First Known Use: 1673

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