Complementary functions as an adjective, describing something that completes or enhances another by providing balance, contrast, or support. It denotes a relationship or quality in which two elements mutually contribute to each other’s effectiveness or significance.

Adjective – Completing or Enhancing: As an adjective, complementary signifies the capacity of one thing to enhance or complete another, often by providing what is lacking or by offering a contrasting or harmonizing element. For example, complementary colors in art or design intensify each other when placed together, enhancing visual appeal.

Adjective – Reciprocal Relationship: Complementary also implies a reciprocal relationship between two elements, where each contributes to the effectiveness or value of the other. This relationship can be found in various contexts, such as complementary skills in a team, complementary flavors in cuisine, or complementary therapies in healthcare.

Adjective – Harmonizing or Balancing: In some cases, complementary describes qualities or attributes that harmonize or balance each other, creating a sense of completeness or wholeness. For instance, complementary strengths and weaknesses in individuals can lead to effective collaboration and mutual support.

Adjective – Supporting or Reinforcing: Furthermore, complementary conveys the idea of one element supporting or reinforcing another, often by filling gaps, addressing deficiencies, or amplifying strengths. This supportive role is essential for achieving synergy and maximizing overall effectiveness.

In conclusion, complementary serves as an adjective that signifies the capacity of one element to complete, enhance, or support another. Whether describing relationships, qualities, or attributes, complementary denotes a harmonious and mutually beneficial interaction between two elements, contributing to a sense of balance, effectiveness, and synergy. Its versatile usage underscores its importance in various domains, from art and design to teamwork, relationships, and holistic approaches to problem-solving and well-being.

Examples of COMPLIMENTARY in a sentence

  • A complimentary gesture can brighten someone’s day with a small act of kindness or appreciation.
  • Businesses often offer complimentary services or products as a way to thank customers for their patronage.
  • In hotels, guests may receive complimentary amenities such as toiletries, Wi-Fi, or breakfast during their stay.
  • A complimentary remark or feedback can boost morale and confidence in both professional and personal settings.
  • Some restaurants provide complimentary appetizers or drinks to diners as a gesture of hospitality.
  • Offering complimentary assistance to someone in need reflects empathy and a willingness to lend a helping hand.
  • A complimentary ticket grants access to an event or attraction free of charge.
  • Expressing complimentary remarks or gratitude fosters positive relationships and goodwill among individuals.


The term complimentary originates from the Latin word “complimentum,” which means “fulfillment” or “accomplishment.”

  • Latin Roots: Complimentary is derived from the Latin word “complimentum,” which is a noun form of the verb “complere,” meaning “to fill up” or “to complete.” In Latin, “complimentum” referred to something that brought fulfillment or accomplishment.
  • Evolution in Meaning: Over time, the term complimentary acquired additional meanings related to expressing praise, admiration, or courtesy towards someone or something. It came to signify words, gestures, or actions that are intended to convey appreciation, approval, or goodwill.
  • Social Conventions: The concept of complimentary behavior has long been a part of social conventions and etiquette, where expressing polite remarks or gestures is considered a way to enhance social interactions and relationships.
  • Language Usage: In language, complimentary phrases or expressions are often used to convey positive sentiments or to acknowledge the qualities or accomplishments of others. This can include compliments, praise, or expressions of gratitude.
  • Business and Marketing: In business and marketing contexts, complimentary offerings or services are provided free of charge as a gesture of goodwill or as an incentive to attract customers. This can include complimentary products, services, or upgrades.
  • Contemporary Usage: In contemporary usage, the term complimentary is widely used to describe anything that is given or provided as a courtesy, without expecting payment or compensation in return. It is also used to describe actions or behaviors that are intended to be polite, considerate, or respectful.

Overall, the term complimentary has its roots in Latin and has evolved to encompass various meanings related to expressing praise, appreciation, or courtesy in social interactions and other contexts.


  • Applaudatory
  • Admiring
  • Encomiastic
  • Approving
  • Applausive
  • Appreciative
  • Eulogistic
  • Flattering


  • Critical
  • Derogatory
  • Disparaging
  • Unfavorable
  • Uncomplimentary
  • Negative
  • Demeaning
  • Censuring


  • Praising
  • Commendatory
  • Laudatory
  • Respectful
  • Positive
  • Supportive
  • Favourable
  • Honoring

🌐 🇬🇧 COMPLIMENTARY in other languages

Terms of Use

Privacy & Cookies


Who We Are

Main Sections


Geographical Locations



Let´s Talk



® 2024