• synonyms


[kom-pluh-men-tuh-ree, -tree]
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  1. of the nature of, conveying, or expressing a compliment, often one that is politely flattering: a complimentary remark.
  2. given free as a gift or courtesy: a complimentary ticket.
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noun, plural com·pli·men·ta·ries.
  1. something given or supplied without charge, as lodging, transportation, or meals, especially as an inducement to prospective customers.
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Origin of complimentary

First recorded in 1620–30; compliment + -ary
Related formscom·pli·men·ta·ri·ly, adverbcom·pli·men·ta·ri·ness, nounin·ter·com·pli·men·ta·ry, adjectivequa·si-com·pli·men·ta·ry, adjectiveun·com·pli·men·ta·ry, adjective


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1. commendatory, praising, laudatory.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for uncomplimentary

Historical Examples

  • I would have said uncomplimentary things to him had time permitted.

    The Long Labrador Trail

    Dillon Wallace

  • I guess I'll keep my opinions to myself next time, when they are so uncomplimentary.

    The Fiery Totem

    Argyll Saxby

  • “You speak in an uncomplimentary fashion of government,” said the girl, smiling.

    The Crimson Tide

    Robert W. Chambers

  • The Valley troops drew the most uncomplimentary comparisons.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • Mr. Grey passed over the uncomplimentary remark with a smile.

British Dictionary definitions for uncomplimentary


  1. not conveying, containing, or resembling a compliment
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  1. conveying, containing, or resembling a compliment
  2. expressing praise; flattering
  3. given free, esp as a courtesy or for publicity purposes
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Derived Formscomplimentarily, adverb
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 uncomplimentary



1620s, "conveying a compliment," from compliment (n.) + -ary. In later use loosely meaning "free of charge."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper