com·​ple·​men·​tar·​i·​ty | \ ˌkäm-plə-(ˌ)men-ˈter-ə-tē How to pronounce complementarity (audio) , -mən-, -ˈta-rə- \

Definition of complementarity

1 : the quality or state of being complementary
2 : the complementary relationship of theories explaining the nature of light or other quantized radiation in terms of both electromagnetic waves and particles

Examples of complementarity in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The two have been married for fifty years, and their complementarity was instantly legible. Julian Lucas, The New Yorker, 19 July 2021 If the process includes compensation, but ignores complementarity and consultation, the effort may fail to truly answer for the past. Kerry Whigham, The Conversation, 6 July 2021 The world needs us to value women and men and their complementarity. Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review, 14 June 2021 The antibody is composed of 6 complementarity-determining regions (CDR) loops which come in contact with amino acids 337-344, 356-361, and 440-444 in the spike protein. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2021 This phenomenon, which goes by the technical term pollination complementarity, isn’t unique to cotton. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, 12 Apr. 2021 And Ariel’s immersion in popular song, counterbalanced by Caliban’s African drumming and chanting, invokes the complementarity and tension between authentic and refracted diaspora cultures. Matthew Guerrieri, Washington Post, 21 Oct. 2019 This is the heart of complementarity, as Niels Bohr formulated it. Quanta Magazine, 28 Apr. 2016 The talk was all about complementarities, synergies, and economies of scale... The reality quickly turned out to be one of incompatible product designs, operating systems, sales forces, brand images, and corporate cultures. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 5 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'complementarity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of complementarity

1911, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for complementarity

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The first known use of complementarity was in 1911

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Statistics for complementarity

Last Updated

24 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Complementarity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for complementarity


com·​ple·​men·​tar·​i·​ty | \ ˌkäm-plə-(ˌ)men-ˈtar-ət-ē, -mən- How to pronounce complementarity (audio) \
plural complementarities

Medical Definition of complementarity

: correspondence in reverse of part of one molecule to part of another: as
a : the arrangement of chemical groups and electric charges that enables a combining group of an antibody to combine with a specific determinant group of an antigen or hapten
b : the correspondence between strands or nucleotides of DNA or sometimes RNA that permits their precise pairing evolution of the contemporary genetic code involving purine-pyrimidine complementarity— Struther Arnott & P. J. Bond


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