[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.
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.

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

Synonyms for complimentary

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1. commendatory, praising, laudatory.

Antonyms for complimentary Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for uncomplimentary

Historical Examples of uncomplimentary

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

  • 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


  1. conveying, containing, or resembling a compliment
  2. expressing praise; flattering
  3. given free, esp as a courtesy or for publicity purposes
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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper