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compliment +‎ -ary



complimentary (comparative more complimentary, superlative most complimentary)

  1. In the nature of a compliment.
    Antonym: uncomplimentary
    a complimentary remark
    • 1877 August 25, Mark Twain, The Letters of Mark Twain, volume 3,2004, page 56:
      But yesterday evening late, when Lewis arrived from down town he found his supper spread, and some presents of books there, with very complimentary writings on the fly-leaves, and certain very complimentary letters, and more or less greenbacks of dignified denomination pinned to those letters and fly-leaves...
  2. Free; provided at no charge.
    Synonyms: free of charge; see also Thesaurus:gratis
    complimentary drinks
    • 2005, Vivien Lougheed, Belize Pocket Adventures, page 65:
      In the evenings, Ward and PJ offer guests a complimentary drink. This gesture seems to reinforce the hosts' desire to make everyone feel welcome.
  3. With respect to the closing of a letter, formal and professional.
    • 2003, Richard H. Beatty, The Perfect Cover Letter:
      The complimentary closing is the word grouping used to bring the message or text to a close.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Complimentary and complementary are frequently confused and misused in place of one another.

Derived terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]