1. having all parts or elements; lacking nothing; whole; entire; full: a complete set of Mark Twain's writings.
  2. finished; ended; concluded: a complete orbit.
  3. having all the required or customary characteristics, skills, or the like; consummate; perfect in kind or quality: a complete scholar.
  4. thorough; entire; total; undivided, uncompromised, or unmodified: a complete victory; a complete mess.
  5. Grammar. having all modifying or complementary elements included: The complete subject of “The dappled pony gazed over the fence” is “The dappled pony.”Compare simple(def 20).
  6. Also completed. Football. (of a forward pass) caught by a receiver.
  7. Logic. (of a set of axioms) such that every true proposition able to be formulated in terms of the basic ideas of a given system is deducible from the set.Compare incomplete(def 4b).
  8. Engineering. noting a determinate truss having the least number of members required to connect the panel points so as to form a system of triangles.Compare incomplete(def 3), redundant(def 5c).
  9. (of persons) accomplished; skilled; expert.
  10. Mathematics.
    1. of or relating to an algebraic system, as a field with an order relation defined on it, in which every set of elements of the system has a least upper bound.
    2. of or relating to a set in which every fundamental sequence converges to an element of the set.Compare fundamental sequence.
    3. (of a lattice) having the property that every subset has a least upper bound and a greatest lower bound.
verb (used with object), com·plet·ed, com·plet·ing.
  1. to make whole or entire: I need three more words to complete the puzzle.
  2. to make perfect: His parting look of impotent rage completed my revenge.
  3. to bring to an end; finish: Has he completed his new novel yet?
  4. to consummate.
  5. Football. to execute (a forward pass) successfully: He completed 17 passes in 33 attempts.

Origin of complete

1325–75; Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin complētus (past participle of complēre to fill up, fulfill, equivalent to com- com- + plē- fill + -tus past participle suffix
Related formscom·plet·a·ble, adjectivecom·plet·ed·ness, nouncom·plete·ly, adverbcom·plete·ness, nouncom·plet·er, nouncom·ple·tive, adjectivecom·ple·tive·ly, adverbhalf-com·plet·ed, adjectivepre·com·plete·ness, nounqua·si-com·plete, adjectivequa·si-com·plete·ly, adverbsub·com·plete, adjectivesub·com·plete·ly, adverbsub·com·plete·ness, nounun·com·plet·a·ble, adjectiveun·com·plete, adjectiveun·com·plete·ly, adverbun·com·plete·ness, nounun·com·plet·ed, adjectivewell-com·plet·ed, adjective

Synonyms for complete

Synonym study

1–3. Complete, entire, intact, perfect imply that there is no lack or defect, nor has any part been removed. Complete implies that a certain unit has all its parts, fully developed or perfected, and may apply to a process or purpose carried to fulfillment: a complete explanation. Entire means whole, having unbroken unity: an entire book. Intact implies retaining completeness and original condition: a package delivered intact. Perfect emphasizes not only completeness but also high quality and absence of defects or blemishes: a perfect diamond.

Antonyms for complete

Usage note

Occasionally there are objections to modifying complete with qualifiers like almost, more, most, nearly, and quite, because they suggest that complete is relative rather than absolute: an almost complete record; a more complete proposal; the most complete list available. However, such uses are fully standard and occur regularly in all varieties of spoken and written English. See also perfect, unique. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for completedness


  1. having every necessary part or element; entire
  2. ended; finished
  3. (prenominal) thorough; absolutehe is a complete rogue
  4. perfect in quality or kindhe is a complete scholar
  5. (of a logical system) constituted such that a contradiction arises on the addition of any proposition that cannot be deduced from the axioms of the systemCompare consistent (def. 5)
  6. (of flowers) having sepals, petals, stamens, and carpels
  7. archaic expert or skilled; accomplished
verb (tr)
  1. to make whole or perfect
  2. to end; finish
  3. (in land law) to pay any outstanding balance on a contract for the conveyance of land in exchange for the title deeds, so that the ownership of the land changes hands
  4. American football (of a quarterback) to make a forward pass successfully
Derived Formscompletely, adverbcompleteness, nouncompleter, nouncompletion, nouncompletive, adjective

Word Origin for complete

C14: from Latin complētus, past participle of complēre to fill up; see complement
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for completedness



late 14c., from Old French complet "full," or directly from Latin completus, past participle of complere "to fill up, complete the number of (a legion, etc.)," transferred to "to fill, to fulfill, to finish (a task)," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + plere "to fill" (see pleio-).



late 14c.; see complete (adj.). Related: Completed; completing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper