com·​ple·​men·​tar·​i·​ty | \ˌkäm-plə-(ˌ)men-ˈter-ə-tē, -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

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In 2004, the paradox seemed to be resolved when physicists proposed the notion of black hole complementarity. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Stephen Hawking’s final paper published, tackles famous paradox," 11 Oct. 2018 These loops are called complementarity-determining regions, or CDRs. Bradley J. Fikes,, "In struggle against HIV, scientists get help from cows," 25 July 2017

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.

First Known Use of complementarity

1911, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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15 Nov 2018

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The first known use of complementarity was in 1911

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More Definitions for complementarity


com·​ple·​men·​tar·​i·​ty | \ˌkäm-plə-(ˌ)men-ˈtar-ət-ē, -mən- \
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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