- an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration: A sincere compliment boosts one's morale.
- a formal act or expression of civility, respect, or regard: The mayor paid him the compliment of escorting him.
- compliments, a courteous greeting; good wishes; regards: He sends you his compliments.
- Archaic. a gift; present.
- to pay a compliment to: She complimented the child on his good behavior.
- to show kindness or regard for by a gift or other favor: He complimented us by giving a party in our honor.
- to congratulate; felicitate: to compliment a prince on the birth of a son.
- to pay compliments.
Origin of compliment
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for complimenting
Some reports made it out that I was, you know, complimenting [Justice] Kennedy, that I was in love with this ruling.Rand Paul: I’m Not My Dad
June 29, 2013
Peter Beinart, for example, implies such criticism in complimenting Alan Dershowitz for publicly supporting a settlement freeze.In Defense of Israel Advocacy
July 9, 2012
Even Gingrich, after complimenting Cain's attempt to simplify a complex idea, took a jab at the pizza guy.GOP Debate Live Updates
October 18, 2011
They both thanked staff and posed for pictures, with Palin complimenting the “real New York City pizza.”Sarah Palin and Donald Trump's Pizza Summit
June 1, 2011
She has been complimenting me upon it; and upon the visit of my uncle Harlowe.Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)
I spoke to her in French, complimenting her on the appearance of the place.The Forest
Stewart Edward White
"Yes, miss," said Pitapat, who thought that her mistress was complimenting her.Hidden Hand
Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth
For a moment, he considered calling in the chief clerk and complimenting him.Final Weapon
Everett B. Cole
"No doubt you think that you are complimenting me in comparing me to Dupin," he observed.A Study In Scarlet
Arthur Conan Doyle
- a remark or act expressing respect, admiration, etc
- (usually plural) a greeting of respect or regard
- to express admiration of; congratulate or commend
- to express or show respect or regard for, esp by a gift
Word Origin and History for complimenting
"An act, or expression of civility, usually understood to include some hypocrisy, and to mean less than it declares" [Johnson], 1570s, complement, via French compliment (17c.), from Italian complimento "expression of respect and civility," from Vulgar Latin *complire, for Latin complere "to complete" (see complete (adj.)), via notion of "complete the obligations of politeness." Same word as complement but by a different etymological route; differentiated by spelling after 1650.
1610s, from French complimenter, from compliment (see compliment (n.)). Related: Complimented; complimenting.