- 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 for compliment on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for compliment
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’
December 31, 2014
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
December 27, 2014
And the criticism is always poorly packaged as concern or some sad excuse for a compliment.How to Make It Through Thanksgiving Alive
November 26, 2014
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
October 20, 2014
“Novelist good for nothing else,” said Samuel Beckett, and that ought to be taken as a compliment.Nobel Prize Winner Modiano’s Magical Musical Prose About Paris
October 14, 2014
Thank you for the compliment, but I don't expect to stick to it all my life.Brave and Bold
She laughed her little laugh of pleasure, and thanked him prettily for the compliment.
They are angry also, as I understand, with my mother, for returning his compliment.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
"I can make a horse do what I want," he said, delighted at the compliment.
But Mr. Gladstone, while acknowledging the compliment, declined because of his age.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
- 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 compliment
"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.