[ kuhm-pleet ]
See synonyms for: completecompletescompletingcompletely on

  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.

  1. having all the required or customary characteristics, skills, or the like; consummate; perfect in kind or quality: a complete scholar.

  2. thorough; entire; total; undivided, uncompromised, or unmodified: a complete victory;a complete mess.

  3. 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).

  4. Also completed. Football. (of a forward pass) caught by a receiver.

  5. 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).

  6. 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. 7c).

  7. (of persons) accomplished; skilled; expert.

  8. Mathematics.

    • 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.

    • of or relating to a set in which every fundamental sequence converges to an element of the set.: Compare fundamental sequence.

    • (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.

  1. to bring to an end; finish: Has he completed his new novel yet?

  2. Football. to execute (a forward pass) successfully: He completed 17 passes in 33 attempts.

Origin of complete

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English, from Middle French or directly from Latin complētus (past participle of complēre “to fill up, fulfill,” equivalent to com- com- + plē- fill + -tus past participle suffix

usage note For complete

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.

Other words for complete

Opposites for complete

Other words from complete

  • com·plet·a·ble, adjective
  • com·plet·ed·ness, noun
  • com·plete·ly, adverb
  • com·plete·ness, noun
  • com·plet·er, noun
  • com·ple·tive, adjective
  • com·ple·tive·ly, adverb
  • half-com·plet·ed, adjective
  • pre·com·plete·ness, noun
  • qua·si-com·plete, adjective
  • sub·com·plete, adjective
  • sub·com·plete·ness, noun
  • un·com·plet·a·ble, adjective
  • un·com·plete, adjective
  • un·com·plete·ness, noun
  • un·com·plet·ed, adjective
  • well-com·plet·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use complete in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for complete


/ (kəmˈpliːt) /

  1. having every necessary part or element; entire

  2. ended; finished

  1. (prenominal) thorough; absolute: he is a complete rogue

  2. perfect in quality or kind: he is a complete scholar

  3. (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 system: Compare consistent (def. 5)

  4. (of flowers) having sepals, petals, stamens, and carpels

  5. archaic expert or skilled; accomplished

  1. to make whole or perfect

  2. to end; finish

  1. (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

  2. American football (of a quarterback) to make a forward pass successfully

Origin of complete

C14: from Latin complētus, past participle of complēre to fill up; see complement

Derived forms of complete

  • completely, adverb
  • completeness, noun
  • completer, noun
  • completion, noun
  • completive, adjective

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