complementary


complementary
complement, compliment, complementary, complimentary
1. Complement and compliment each function as noun and verb; in pronunciation they are largely indistinguishable except that in the verbal function compliment has a fuller -i- sound in its second syllable and both words have a more distinct -ment sound in the third syllable. Both words are derived from Latin complere ‘to fill up’; complement means ‘something that completes’ and should be distinguished from supplement which means ‘something that adds to’. A compliment is ‘a spoken or written expression of praise’.
2. The derivative adjectives have corresponding meanings. Complimentary means ‘expressing a compliment’ and has the additional meaning ‘given free of charge’ (e.g.complimentary tickets). (Complementary means ‘completing’ or ‘forming a complement’:

• Chelsea Theatre is a small yet dynamic new writing theatre enriched by a complementary programme of arts activities —theatre reviews website, 2004 [OEC])

and has a special use in the context of medical therapy that falls outside the scope of scientific medicine but supports it (e.g. acupuncture and osteopathy).

Modern English usage. 2014.

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  • complementary — com‧ple‧men‧ta‧ry [ˌkɒmplˈmentri◂ ǁ ˌkɑːm ] adjective MARKETING sold or used with other products: • complementary goods, for example videocassettes and videorecorders * * * complementary UK US /ˌkɒmplɪˈmentəri/ adjective ► different but useful… …   Financial and business terms

  • Complementary — Com ple*men ta*ry, a. Serving to fill out or to complete; as, complementary numbers. [1913 Webster] {Complementary colors}. See under {Color}. {Complementary angles} (Math.), two angles whose sum is 90[deg]. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • complementary — 1620s, ceremonious, from COMPLEMENT (Cf. complement) + ARY (Cf. ary). Sense forming a complement attested from 1829, earliest in complementary colors …   Etymology dictionary

  • complementary — ► ADJECTIVE 1) combining so as to form a complete whole or to enhance each other. 2) relating to complementary medicine …   English terms dictionary

  • Complementary — Com ple*men ta*ry, n. [See {Complimentary}.] One skilled in compliments. [Obs.] B. Jonson. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • complementary — index cognate, concordant, concurrent (united), convertible, correlative, mutual (reciprocal) …   Law dictionary

  • complementary — complementary, complemental *reciprocal, correlative, corresponding, convertible Analogous words: complementing, supplementing (see corresponding verbs under COMPLEMENT n): completing, finishing (see CLOSE vb): related, associated (see JOIN)… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • complementary — [adj] filling, completing commutual, complemental, completing, completory, conclusive, correlative, correspondent, corresponding, crowning, equivalent, fellow, integral, integrative, interconnected, interdependent, interrelated, interrelating,… …   New thesaurus

  • complementary — [käm΄pləmen′təlkäm΄plə men′tə rē] adj. 1. acting as a complement; completing 2. making up what is lacking in one another: Also complemental [käm΄pləmen′təl] …   English World dictionary

  • complementary — [[t]kɒ̱mplɪme̱ntri[/t]] 1) ADJ: usu ADJ n, also v link ADJ to n Complementary things are different from each other but make a good combination. [FORMAL] To improve the quality of life through work, two complementary strategies are necessary...… …   English dictionary

  • complementary — com|ple|men|ta|ry [ˌkɔmplıˈmentəri US ˌka:m ] adj 1.) complementary things go well together, although they are usually different ▪ The computer and the human mind have different but complementary abilities. 2.) technical complementary colours of… …   Dictionary of contemporary English