"complimentary ticket," 1885, short for complimentary. Meaning "nonpaying guest" is attested by 1930s; generalized to "anything given free" by 1960s. As a verb, by 1980s. As a shortening of compensation (esp. workman's) it was in use by 1970s.
tv. to accompany someone [musically]. : I have to sing a solo at a wedding and need someone to comp me.
tv. to give something to someone free. (Either as compensation for difficulties endured or as a complimentary gift.) : The movie patron was angry and demanded his money back. The manager comped him with a few free passes and he was happy.
n. a complimentary gift. : I expect comps when I spend a lot of money in a casino.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition. Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw Hill.
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