Definition of complement verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



verbVerb Forms present simple I / you / we / they complement
BrE BrE//ˈkɒmplɪment//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɑːmplɪment//
he / she / it complements
BrE BrE//ˈkɒmplɪments//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɑːmplɪments//
past simple complemented
BrE BrE//ˈkɒmplɪmentɪd//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɑːmplɪmentɪd//
past participle complemented
BrE BrE//ˈkɒmplɪmentɪd//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɑːmplɪmentɪd//
-ing form complementing
BrE BrE//ˈkɒmplɪmentɪŋ//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɑːmplɪmentɪŋ//
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BrE BrE//ˈkɒmplɪment//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɑːmplɪment//
complement something to add to something in a way that improves it or makes it more attractive The excellent menu is complemented by a good wine list. The team needs players who complement each other. The dishes on the menu complement each other perfectly. The flavours in the dish complement each other perfectly. Which Word?compliment / complement These words have similar spellings but completely different meanings. If you compliment someone, you say something very nice to them:She complimented me on my English. If one thing complements another, the two things work or look better because they are together:The different flavours complement each other perfectly. The adjectives are also often confused. Complimentary:She made some very complimentary remarks about my English. It can also mean ‘free’:There was a complimentary basket of fruit in our room. Complementary:The team members have different but complementary skills.
Word Originlate Middle English (in the sense ‘completion’): from Latin complementum, from complere ‘fill up’, from com- (expressing intensive force) + plere ‘fill’. Compare with compliment.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: complement

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