Word of the Day Archive
Thursday September 16, 1999
complement \KOM-pluh-muhnt\ , noun:
1. Something that fills up or completes.
2. The quantity or number required to make up a whole or to make something complete.
3. One of two parts that complete a whole or mutually complete each other; a counterpart.
1. To supply what is lacking; to serve as a complement to; to supplement.
He was four years older than Lewis, whom he had once commanded in the army; less formally educated, but with more practical experience and a steadier yet more outgoing personality -- a friend, but also a perfect complement in both training and temperament to the man who was inviting Clark to make history with him.
-- Dayton Duncan, Lewis & Clark
There was also a tennis court, a riding stable, a five-car garage, and a full complement of servants.
-- Carol Felsenthal, Citizen Newhouse
The two points of view are not contradictory; they complement each other.
-- Feançoise Gilot, "The Maid Was Ugly, the Meals Were Bad...,", New York Times, October 7, 1970
Smart, athletic, blond, with a "bubbly" -- that's the word Ed uses to describe Sue when she's not around -- personality that complements his perpetually calm outlook.
-- Martin Dugard, Knockdown
The wine complemented the food perfectly.
-- Mary Sheepshanks, Picking Up the Pieces
Complement is from Latin complementum, from complere, "to fill up," from com- (intensive prefix) + plere, "to fill."