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[kom-pluh-men-tuh-ree, -tree] /ˌkɒm pləˈmɛn tə ri, -tri/
of the nature of, conveying, or expressing a compliment, often one that is politely flattering:
a complimentary remark.
given free as a gift or courtesy:
a complimentary ticket.
noun, plural complimentaries.
something given or supplied without charge, as lodging, transportation, or meals, especially as an inducement to prospective customers.
1620-30; compliment + -ary
Related forms
complimentarily, adverb
complimentariness, noun
intercomplimentary, adjective
quasi-complimentary, adjective
uncomplimentary, adjective
1. commendatory, praising, laudatory.
1. abusive, unflattering. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for complimentary
  • Enjoy free local newspapers each morning and a complimentary continental breakfast in the lobby.
  • We plant breeders do this to combine two parents with complimentary great traits the same way a flower or animal breeder would.
  • Let us stipulate that the writer was, indeed, trying to be complimentary.
  • To say they are two-dimensional is probably being too complimentary.
  • They were overly complimentary, but didn't give me much color.
  • Rates are inexpensive, and hotel amenities include a complimentary breakfast with waffles, an indoor swimming pool and a hot tub.
  • There are no cars on the island so guests get around via the resort's complimentary cruisers.
  • Historically it could be used on any published rate, and the second night of your weekend stay would be complimentary.
  • Extra amenities include unpacking service, evening canapés, a welcome bottle of chilled champagne and complimentary bottled water.
  • The hotel serves a complimentary continental breakfast to guests.
British Dictionary definitions for complimentary


/ˌkɒmplɪˈmɛntərɪ; -trɪ/
conveying, containing, or resembling a compliment
expressing praise; flattering
given free, esp as a courtesy or for publicity purposes
Derived Forms
complimentarily, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for complimentary

1620s, "conveying a compliment," from compliment (n.) + -ary. In later use loosely meaning "free of charge."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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