OTHER WORDS FOR compliment
OPPOSITES FOR compliment
Origin of compliment
words often confused with compliment
OTHER WORDS FROM compliment
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH complimentcomplement, compliment (see confusables note at complement)
Words nearby compliment
COMPLIMENT VS. COMPLEMENT
What’s the difference between compliment and complement?
A compliment is a comment intended to express praise or admiration of someone. Compliment is also commonly used as a verb meaning to give a compliment. The word complement most commonly refers to something that goes along with something else and serves to make it better or complete it. It’s also commonly used as a verb meaning to serve as a complement in this way, as in That necklace really complements the rest of your outfit.
Complement has many other specific meanings, but compliment is really only used to refer to a nice comment or the action of giving one.
Since the primary senses of both words are generally used in positive contexts, it can be easy to confuse them.
The adjective form of complement is complementary, as in complementary colors. The adjective form of compliment is complimentary, which can describe something intended to be a compliment, as in complimentary remark, or it can be used to mean that something is given for free, as in I hope we get complimentary snacks on this flight.
The easiest way to remember the difference is that complement often means to complete, and complete also starts with c-o-m-p-l-e. On the other hand, compliment is spelled with an i, and compliments are something that I like to get (and give). Nice shirt, by the way.
Here’s an example of compliment and complement used correctly in the same sentence.
Example: The chef overheard the diners at one table complimenting the way the sauce complemented the fish, so she told the server to offer them a complimentary dessert.
Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between compliment and complement.
Quiz yourself on compliment vs. complement!
Should compliment or complement be used in the following sentence?
The two singers have very different styles, but they _____ each other so well during the performance.
How to use compliment in a sentence
One of the biggest compliments I can have as a drummer is that someone is dancing to you.Charlie Watts, Rolling Stones drummer and band’s rhythmic mainstay, dies at 80|Matt Schudel|August 24, 2021|Washington Post
He said the hugs and compliments he gave her were friendly and told investigators he’d had similar conversations with students about their sex lives before.Student Who Reported CSUSM Professor Says No One Told Her He Kept His Job|Kayla Jimenez|August 10, 2021|Voice of San Diego
Today, the word is frequently used with more nuance and intrigue, and some even use it as a compliment.Stop calling food ‘exotic’|Daniela Galarza|July 8, 2021|Washington Post
He hugged them for too long, pressured them into private meetings in his office and made unwanted compliments about their appearance, records show.CSU San Marcos Tried to Fire a Professor for Misconduct – Then His Union Intervened|Kayla Jimenez|May 25, 2021|Voice of San Diego
In January, Elton John paid him one of the highest compliments imaginable, saying, “you’re going to be one of the biggest artists in the whole wide world.”Who Is The Kid Laroi? What to Know About the 17-Year-Old's Meteoric Rise|Andrew R. Chow|May 6, 2021|Time
For many men, being depicted by Channing Tatum in a film about your life would be a compliment.Wrestler Mark Schultz Hates the ‘Sickening and Insulting Lies’ of ‘Foxcatcher’|Rich Goldstein|December 31, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Hawke, ever the charmer, kicks things off with a compliment: I really like you guys.Coffee Talk with Ethan Hawke: On ‘Boyhood,’ Jennifer Lawrence, and Bill Clinton’s Urinal Exchange|Marlow Stern|December 27, 2014|DAILY BEAST
People compliment me on Boyhood sometimes, and I think, “Well, it better have been good!”Coffee Talk with Ethan Hawke: On ‘Boyhood,’ Jennifer Lawrence, and Bill Clinton’s Urinal Exchange|Marlow Stern|December 27, 2014|DAILY BEAST
And the criticism is always poorly packaged as concern or some sad excuse for a compliment.How to Make It Through Thanksgiving Alive|Lizzie Crocker|November 26, 2014|DAILY BEAST
To be the very first moment that we see on an episode of The Good Wife was quite a compliment and very humbling.How Carrie Preston Became The Good Wife’s Favorite Scene Stealer|Kevin Fallon|October 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
“To say that you would have more sense than the police, would be a poor compliment,” said the old lady.The Joyous Adventures of Aristide Pujol|William J. Locke
The court paid him the high compliment of refusing his suit, declaring that he had himself inflicted sufficient punishment.
It was a pretty compliment, and sincere I knew, for no one could meet him without recognising his frank outspoken nature.
Marius frowned darkly, but before he could speak, Tressan was insinuating a compliment to the Marquise.St. Martin's Summer|Rafael Sabatini
"And I can return the compliment," was my reply, as we all gathered round a brew of tea to exchange news and compare notes.Three More John Silence Stories|Algernon Blackwood
British Dictionary definitions for compliment
Word Origin for compliment
Other Idioms and Phrases with compliment
see left-handed compliment; pay a compliment; return the compliment.