a relation such that the members of a pair or set of phones, morphs, or other linguistic units have no environment in common, as aspirated “p” and unaspirated “p” in English, the first occurring only in positions where the second does not.
BECOME A PRO CHEF WITH THIS EXQUISITE CUISINE QUIZ!
Even if you can't be a professional chef, you can at least talk like one with this vocabulary quiz.
Question 1 of 9
You may have read the word "simmer" in a recipe or two, but what does it really mean?
Also called complementation.
Compare free variation.
Origin of complementary distribution
First recorded in 1930–35
Words nearby complementary distribution
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020