Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to compliment: complement


1. An expression of praise, admiration, or congratulation.
2. A formal act of civility, courtesy, or respect.
3. compliments Good wishes; regards: Extend my compliments to your parents. See Usage Note at complement.
tr.v. com·pli·ment·ed, com·pli·ment·ing, com·pli·ments
1. To pay a compliment to.
2. To show fondness, regard, or respect for by giving a gift or performing a favor.

[French, from Italian complimento, from Spanish cumplimiento, from cumplir, to complete, from Latin complēre, to fill up : com-, intensive pref.; see com- + plēre, to fill; see pelə- in Indo-European roots.]


1. a remark or act expressing respect, admiration, etc
2. (usually plural) a greeting of respect or regard
vb (tr)
3. to express admiration of; congratulate or commend
4. to express or show respect or regard for, esp by a gift
[C17: from French, from Italian complimento, from Spanish cumplimiento, from cumplir to complete, do what is fitting, be polite]
Usage: Avoid confusion with complement


(n. ˈkɒm plə mənt; v. -ˌmɛnt)

1. an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration.
2. a formal act or gesture of civility, respect, or regard: The mayor paid her the compliment of a police escort.
3. compliments, a courteous greeting; good wishes; regards: to send one's compliments.
4. to pay a compliment to; commend; praise.
5. to show kindness or regard for by a gift or other favor.
6. to congratulate; felicitate.
7. to pay compliments.
[1570–80; < French < Italian complimento < Sp cumplimiento <cumpli- (see comply); earlier same sp. as complement]


 of sycophants—Madden.



These words can both be verbs or nouns. When they are verbs, they are pronounced /'kɒmplɪment/. When they are nouns, they are pronounced /'kɒmplɪmənt/.

1. 'complement'

If one thing complements another, the two things increase each other's good qualities when they are brought together.

Nutmeg, parsley and cider all complement the flavour of these beans well.
Current advances in hardware development nicely complement British software skills.
2. 'compliment'

If you compliment someone, you tell them that you admire something that they have or something that they have done.

They complimented me on the way I looked.
She is to be complimented for handling the situation so well.

A compliment is something that you do or say to someone to show your admiration for them.

She took his acceptance as a great compliment.

You say that you pay someone a compliment.

He knew that he had just been paid a great compliment.


Past participle: complimented
Gerund: complimenting

I compliment
you compliment
he/she/it compliments
we compliment
you compliment
they compliment
I complimented
you complimented
he/she/it complimented
we complimented
you complimented
they complimented
Present Continuous
I am complimenting
you are complimenting
he/she/it is complimenting
we are complimenting
you are complimenting
they are complimenting
Present Perfect
I have complimented
you have complimented
he/she/it has complimented
we have complimented
you have complimented
they have complimented
Past Continuous
I was complimenting
you were complimenting
he/she/it was complimenting
we were complimenting
you were complimenting
they were complimenting
Past Perfect
I had complimented
you had complimented
he/she/it had complimented
we had complimented
you had complimented
they had complimented
I will compliment
you will compliment
he/she/it will compliment
we will compliment
you will compliment
they will compliment
Future Perfect
I will have complimented
you will have complimented
he/she/it will have complimented
we will have complimented
you will have complimented
they will have complimented
Future Continuous
I will be complimenting
you will be complimenting
he/she/it will be complimenting
we will be complimenting
you will be complimenting
they will be complimenting
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been complimenting
you have been complimenting
he/she/it has been complimenting
we have been complimenting
you have been complimenting
they have been complimenting
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been complimenting
you will have been complimenting
he/she/it will have been complimenting
we will have been complimenting
you will have been complimenting
they will have been complimenting
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been complimenting
you had been complimenting
he/she/it had been complimenting
we had been complimenting
you had been complimenting
they had been complimenting
I would compliment
you would compliment
he/she/it would compliment
we would compliment
you would compliment
they would compliment
Past Conditional
I would have complimented
you would have complimented
he/she/it would have complimented
we would have complimented
you would have complimented
they would have complimented
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.compliment - a remark (or act) expressing praise and admirationcompliment - a remark (or act) expressing praise and admiration
congratulations, extolment, kudos, praise - an expression of approval and commendation; "he always appreciated praise for his work"
trade-last - a compliment that I heard about you that I offer to trade for a compliment you have heard about me
flattery - excessive or insincere praise
fulsomeness, smarm, unction - excessive but superficial compliments given with affected charm
Verb1.compliment - say something to someone that expresses praise; "He complimented her on her last physics paper"
praise - express approval of; "The parents praised their children for their academic performance"
2.compliment - express respect or esteem for
greet - send greetings to


1. praise, honour, tribute, courtesy, admiration, bouquet, flattery, eulogy She blushed, but accepted the compliment with good grace.
praise criticism, complaint, condemnation, reproach, sideswipe, disparagement
plural noun
1. greetings, regards, respects, remembrances, good wishes, salutation Give my compliments to your lovely wife when you write home.
noun greetings insult
1. congratulations, praise, commendation That was an excellent meal - my compliments to the chef.
1. praise, flatter, salute, congratulate, pay tribute to, commend, laud, extol, crack up (informal), pat on the back, sing the praises of, wax lyrical about, big up (slang, chiefly Caribbean), speak highly of They complimented me on my performance.
praise blast, condemn, flame (informal), insult, put down, criticize, reproach, disparage, decry, tear into (informal), diss (slang, chiefly U.S.), lambast(e), reprehend
Usage: Compliment is sometimes confused with complement.


1. An expression of admiration or congratulation:
commendation, congratulation (often used in plural), praise, tribute.
3. An act requiring special generosity:
1. To pay a compliment to:
Idiom: take off one's hat to.
2. To express warm approval of:
مُجَامَلَةمَديح، إطْراء، ثَناءيُجَامِلُيَمْتَدِح، يُطْري لِ، يُثْني عَلى
komplimentpoklonachválitdělat poklony
bókbókolbókot mond
hrósalofsyrîi, gullhamrar
girtikomplimentasnemokamaspagiriamasissu geriausiais linkėjimais
izteikt komplimentuskompliments
ge komplimangkomplimang
khen ngợilời khen


A. [ˈkɒmplɪmənt] N
1. (= respect) → cumplido m; (= flirtation) → piropo m; (= flattery) → halago m
what a nice compliment!¡qué detalle!
that was meant as a complimentlo dije con buena intención
to pay sb a compliment (respectful) → hacer cumplidos a algn; (amorous) → echar piropos a algn; (= flatter) → halagar a algn
to return the complimentdevolver el cumplido
I take it as a compliment thatme halaga (el) que ...
2. compliments (= greetings) → saludos mpl
my compliments to the chefmi enhorabuena al cocinero
the compliments of the seasonfelicidades fpl
to send one's compliments to sbenviar saludos a algn
"with compliments""con un atento saludo"
with the compliments of the managementobsequio de la casa
with the compliments of Mr Pearcecon un atento saludo del Sr. Pearce, de parte del Sr. Pearce
with the author's complimentshomenaje m or obsequio m del autor
B. [ˈkɒmplɪment] VT to compliment sb on sth/on doing sthfelicitar a algn por algo/por conseguir algo
they complimented me on my Spanishme felicitaron por mi español
C. [ˈkɒmplɪmənt] CPD compliment(s) slip Nnota f de saludo, saluda m (Admin)


to compliment sb on sth → complimenter qn sur qch
They complimented me on my French → Ils m'ont complimenté sur mon français.
to compliment sb for doing sth → complimenter qn d'avoir fait qch
[ˈkɒmplɪmənt] n (= flattering remark) → compliment m
to pay sb a compliment → faire un compliment à qn, adresser un compliment à qn
to return the compliment → retourner le compliment
compliments npl (in polite expressions)compliments mpl, hommages mpl, vœux mpl
with my compliments → avec mes compliments
"with compliments" (on letter, memo, compliments slip)"avec nos compliments"


Kompliment nt(on zu, wegen); to pay somebody a complimentjdm ein Kompliment machen; that’s quite a compliment, coming from youwenn Sie das sagen, heißt das schon etwas or ist das wahrhaftig ein Kompliment; (give) my compliments to the chefmein Lob or Kompliment dem Koch/der Köchin
compliments pl (form)Grüße pl; give him my complimentsempfehlen Sie mich ihm (dated form); to pay one’s compliments to somebody (on arrival) → jdn begrüßen; (on departure) → sich jdm empfehlen (dated form); (= visit)jdm einen Höflichkeitsbesuch abstatten (form); the compliments of the seasonfrohes Fest; “with the compliments of Mr X/the management”„mit den besten Empfehlungen von Herrn X/der Geschäftsleitung; “with the compliments of the publishers”zur gefälligen Kenntnisnahme, der Verlag
vtein Kompliment/Komplimente machen (+dat)(on wegen, zu)


[n ˈkɒmplɪˌmənt; vb ˈkɒmplɪmɛnt]
1. n
to pay sb a compliment (on sth) → fare un complimento a qn (per qc)
b. compliments npl (frm) (greetings) → rispetti mpl, ossequi mpl
compliments of the season → auguri per le festività
with the compliments of Mr X → con gli omaggi del Signor X
2. vt to compliment sb (on sth/on doing sth)congratularsi or complimentarsi con qn (per qc/per aver fatto qc)


(ˈkompləmənt) noun
an expression of praise or flattery. He's always paying her compliments.
(kompliˈment) verb
to praise or flatter. He complimented her on her cooking.
ˌcompliˈmentary (-ˈmen-) adjective
(negative uncomplimentary).
1. flattering or praising. complimentary remarks.
2. given free. a complimentary ticket.
with compliments
used when sending a gift etc. `With compliments from a secret admirer'.

to pay a compliment (not complement).


مُجَامَلَة, يُجَامِلُ chválit, kompliment kompliment, komplimentere ein Kompliment machen, Kompliment κάνω φιλοφρόνηση, φιλοφρόνηση halagar, halago kehua, kohteliaisuus compliment, complimenter kompliment, komplimentirati complimentarsi, complimento ほめことば, ほめる 칭찬, 칭찬하다 compliment, complimenteren gratulere, kompliment komplement, pochwalić cumprimentar, cumprimento, elogio делать комплимент, комплимент ge komplimang, komplimang คำชมเชย, ชมเชย iltifat, iltifat etmek khen ngợi, lời khen 称赞
References in classic literature ?
You don't know a compliment when you get it," said Meg, with the air of a young lady who knew all about the matter.
On the contrary, Heyward thought the manner of the young Mohican was disdainful, if not a little fierce, and that he suppressed passions that were ready to explode, as much in compliment to the listeners, as from the deference he usually paid to his white associate.
The delicate compliment to their confidential relations and the slight stimulus of liquor had tremulously exalted Whiskey Dick.
I pay this particular compliment to Queequeg, because he treated me with so much civility and consideration, while I was guilty of great rudeness; staring at him from the bed, and watching all his toilette motions; for the time my curiosity getting the better of my breeding.
Tom received the compliment with becoming modesty, and began to look as affable as was consistent, as John Bunyan says, "with his doggish nature.
In every threat and in every compliment there was a blunder; for they thought that my chief desire was to stand the other side of that stone wall.
It was the only compliment I got -- if it was a compliment.
She could not pay any one a higher compliment than that, and Dorcas could not receive one that would please her better.
When I am the reader, and the author considers me able to do the translating myself, he pays me quite a nice compliment--but if he would do the translating for me I would try to get along without the compliment.
I didn't care nothing for the compliment, but I was glad to be let off, anyway.
And then she diluted the compliment by adding, "But it's power- ful seldom you're a mind to, I'm bound to say.
Well, you'd better believe she returns the compliment.