complete

1 of 2

adjective

com·​plete kəm-ˈplēt How to pronounce complete (audio)
completer; completest
1
a
: having all necessary parts, elements, or steps
a complete diet
b
of a protein : containing all essential amino acids
Beans and grains combined together form a complete protein.
2
a
: total, absolute
complete silence
b
: fully carried out : thorough
a complete renovation
c
of a football pass : legally caught
3
: brought to an end : concluded
a complete period of time
4
: highly proficient
a complete artist
5
of a subject or predicate : including modifiers, complements, or objects
6
of insect metamorphosis : characterized by the occurrence of a pupal stage between the motile immature stages and the adult compare incomplete sense 3
7
: having all four sets of floral organs
8
of a metric space : having the property that every Cauchy sequence of elements converges to a limit in the space
completely adverb
completeness noun
completive adjective

complete

2 of 2

verb

completed; completing

transitive verb

1
: to bring to an end and especially into a perfected state
complete a painting
2
a
: to make whole or perfect
Its song completes the charm of the bird.
Her latest purchase completes her collection.
b
: to mark the end of
A rousing chorus completes the show.
c
: execute, fulfill
complete a contract
3
: to carry out (a forward pass) successfully
The quarterback completed 12 out of 18 passes.
Phrases
complete with
: made complete by the inclusion of
a birthday cake complete with candles
Choose the Right Synonym for complete

Adjective

full, complete, plenary, replete mean containing all that is wanted or needed or possible.

full implies the presence or inclusion of everything that is wanted or required by something or that can be held, contained, or attained by it.

a full schedule

complete applies when all that is needed is present.

a complete picture of the situation

plenary adds to complete the implication of fullness without qualification.

given plenary power

replete implies being filled to the brim or to satiety.

replete with delightful details

Verb

close, end, conclude, finish, complete, terminate mean to bring or come to a stopping point or limit.

close usually implies that something has been in some way open as well as unfinished.

close a debate

end conveys a strong sense of finality.

ended his life

conclude may imply a formal closing (as of a meeting).

the service concluded with a blessing

finish may stress completion of a final step in a process.

after it is painted, the house will be finished

complete implies the removal of all deficiencies or a successful finishing of what has been undertaken.

the resolving of this last issue completes the agreement

terminate implies the setting of a limit in time or space.

your employment terminates after three months

Examples of complete in a Sentence

Adjective He spoke in complete sentences. They sat in complete silence. Verb The project took four months to complete. Her latest purchase completes her collection. The new baby completed their family. The quarterback completed 12 out of 15 passes. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Over the past century, Chinese communist thinkers have tended to believe that a flourishing future demands a complete break from the past. Rana Mitter, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 Duration of Experience: Most states typically mandate CPA candidates complete at least one to two years of relevant work experience, although the exact duration may differ. Bryce Welker, Miami Herald, 19 Feb. 2024 Trips to the Galapagos with the company include local flights, a pre-cruise hotel, the Galápagos Islands National Park admission fee, excursions, and use of the ship’s science center complete with a library, microscopes, and samples. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, 19 Feb. 2024 Raising the bar for approving 16 pending gas-export projects to include a complete life-cycle environmental assessment could ironically derail President Biden’s own energy and environmental agenda with grave domestic and international ramifications. Charles K. Ebinger, National Review, 19 Feb. 2024 And then, in my favourite part of the entire exhibition, Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night comes spectacularly alive, complete with swirling stars, comets flying overhead and the lights of the village waking up in front of us. Benny Har-Even, Forbes, 18 Feb. 2024 This long-sleeve number is made of a lightweight crinkle fabric, complete with a flirty flared hemline. Taylor Jean Stephan, Peoplemag, 17 Feb. 2024 While there are multiple valid ways to communicate—complete with diverse languages and dialogues—she was confronted with the expectation that Black people speak a certain dialect. A. Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez, Parents, 17 Feb. 2024 Do not wait until Cybertruck is due for a complete wash. Carlton Reid, WIRED, 16 Feb. 2024
Verb
According to Vizio, no other stockholder approval is required to complete the transaction. Todd Spangler, Variety, 20 Feb. 2024 Additional instruction for those with credit-deficiencies to complete graduation or grade promotion requirements. Angela Rodriguez, Sacramento Bee, 20 Feb. 2024 Another Milestone Ahead Of Their Third NWSL Season With the addition of Yanez as the third head coach in club history, Racing officially completed their staff as Mitch Sowerby also joined Racing in the offseason as an assistant coach. Jackie Gutierrez, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2024 With the Heat trailing by nine points and 7:54 left in the fourth quarter at the time of the incident, Adebayo didn’t want to pick up a technical foul or get ejected and hurt the Heat’s chances of completing the comeback. Anthony Chiang, Miami Herald, 20 Feb. 2024 The stake deal values the company at $1.85 billion, and includes KKR cashing out of Chord when the transaction is completed. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 Feb. 2024 The four films are expected to be completed and ready for theatrical release in 2027. Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 20 Feb. 2024 In a new commercial for ZOA Energy drinks, an aerial acrobatics newbie, an overwhelmed working mom and a surgeon transform into the actor, who then completes their tasks with focus and swagger. Erin Clements, Peoplemag, 19 Feb. 2024 Even after successfully completing rehab, Colker said, her daughter ended up purchasing what turned out to be fake Percocet pills from a street dealer. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'complete.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

Middle English complet, compleet, complete, borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French complet, borrowed from Latin complētus, past participle of complēre "to fill, make up, carry to completion," from com- com- + plēre "to fill" — more at full entry 1

Note: The simplex plēre is only attested in an inscription of 176/77 A.D., as a gerund, and in a comment of the grammarian Sextus Pompeius Festus, that "the ancients also used to say plentur without prefixes" ("plentur antiqui etiam sine praepositionibus dicebant"). If such a verb existed, it was replaced at an early date by prefixed compounds such as complēre, in which the prefix marks perfective aspect.

Verb

Middle English completen, derivative of complet complete entry 1

First Known Use

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of complete was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near complete

Cite this Entry

“Complete.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/complete. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

complete

1 of 2 adjective
com·​plete kəm-ˈplēt How to pronounce complete (audio)
completer; completest
1
: possessing all necessary parts : entire
a complete set of books
a complete diet
2
: brought to an end : having been completed
five complete days
3
: being such to the fullest degree : thorough, absolute
complete freedom
a complete failure
4
of a football pass : legally caught
completely adverb
completeness noun

complete

2 of 2 verb
completed; completing
1
: to bring to an end : accomplish or achieve fully
complete a job
2
: to make whole or perfect
the shoes complete the outfit

Medical Definition

complete

adjective
com·​plete kəm-ˈplēt How to pronounce complete (audio)
1
of insect metamorphosis : characterized by the occurrence of a pupal stage between the motile immature stages and the adult compare incomplete sense 1
2
of a bone fracture : characterized by a break passing entirely across the bone compare incomplete sense 2
3
of a protein : containing all essential amino acids compare incomplete sense 4

More from Merriam-Webster on complete

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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