Why was "tantrum" trending last week?


[n. kom-pluh-muh nt; v. kom-pluh-ment] /n. ˈkɒm plə mənt; v. ˈkɒm pləˌmɛnt/
an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration:
A sincere compliment boosts one's morale.
a formal act or expression of civility, respect, or regard:
The mayor paid him the compliment of escorting him.
compliments, a courteous greeting; good wishes; regards:
He sends you his compliments.
Archaic. a gift; present.
verb (used with object)
to pay a compliment to:
She complimented the child on his good behavior.
to show kindness or regard for by a gift or other favor:
He complimented us by giving a party in our honor.
to congratulate; felicitate:
to compliment a prince on the birth of a son.
verb (used without object)
to pay compliments.
1570-80; < French < Italian complimento < Spanish cumplimiento, equivalent to cumpli- (see comply) + -miento -ment; earlier identical in spelling with complement
Related forms
complimentable, adjective
complimenter, noun
complimentingly, adverb
outcompliment, verb (used with object)
uncomplimented, adjective
uncomplimenting, adjective
Can be confused
complement, compliment (see usage note at complement)
1. kudos, tribute, eulogy, panegyric. 5. commend, praise, honor.
1. disparagement.
Usage note Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for compliments
  • None of these comments were intended as compliments.
  • He is not trying to get friends with bare compliments.
  • First, please accept my belated compliments on a thoughtful piece on pensions last month.
  • Enjoy those compliments at home, when you're hosting guests of your own.
  • Everything compliments and supplements everything else.
  • Thank you for your compliments and kind words of encouragement.
  • It fitted her perfectly and she received so many compliments.
  • Even obviously manipulative compliments are remarkably effective.
  • At a publication that puts a premium on design, this earned the beer many compliments.
  • Her talent for compliments went along with a genius for belittling people, especially during group meetings.
British Dictionary definitions for compliments


noun (ˈkɒmplɪmənt)
a remark or act expressing respect, admiration, etc
(usually pl) a greeting of respect or regard
verb (transitive) (ˈkɒmplɪˌmɛnt)
to express admiration of; congratulate or commend
to express or show respect or regard for, esp by a gift
Word Origin
C17: from French, from Italian complimento, from Spanish cumplimiento, from cumplir to complete, do what is fitting, be polite
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for compliments



"An act, or expression of civility, usually understood to include some hypocrisy, and to mean less than it declares" [Johnson], 1570s, complement, via French compliment (17c.), from Italian complimento "expression of respect and civility," from Vulgar Latin *complire, for Latin complere "to complete" (see complete (adj.)), via notion of "complete the obligations of politeness." Same word as complement but by a different etymological route; differentiated by spelling after 1650.


1610s, from French complimenter, from compliment (see compliment (n.)). Related: Complimented; complimenting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with compliments
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for compliment

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for compliments

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with compliments