American English

Definition of compliment noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] a remark that expresses praise or admiration of someone to pay someone a compliment (= to praise them for something) “You understand the problem because you're so much older.” “I'll take that as a compliment!” It's a great compliment to be asked to do the job. to return the compliment (= to treat someone in the same way as they have treated you)
  2. 2compliments [plural] (formal) polite words or good wishes, especially when used to express praise and admiration My compliments to the chef!
  3. Idioms
    a backhanded/left-handed compliment
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    a remark that seems to express admiration but could also be understood as an insult
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: compliment