AskDefine | Define complimentary

Dictionary Definition

complimentary adj
1 conveying or resembling a compliment; "a complimentary remark" [ant: uncomplimentary]
2 costing nothing; "complimentary tickets" [syn: costless, free, gratis(p), gratuitous]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. In the nature of a compliment.
    ''But yesterday evening late, when Lewis arrived from down town he found his supper spread, and some presents of books there, with very complimentary writings on the fly-leaves, and certain very complimentary letters, and more or less greenbacks of dignified denomination pinned to those letters and fly-leaves... Mark Twain, The Letters of Mark Twain, Vol. 3 (published 2004) p. 56.
  2. Free; provided at no charge.
    In the evenings, Ward and PJ offer guests a complimentary drink. This gesture seems to reinforce the hosts' desire to make everyone feel welcome. Vivien Lougheed, Belize Pocket Adventures (2005), p. 65.
  3. With respect to the closing of a letter, formal and professional.
    The complimentary closing is the word grouping used to bring the message or text to a close. Richard H. Beatty, The Perfect Cover Letter'' (2003).


In the nature of a compliment
Free; provided at no charge
With respect to the closing of a letter, formal and professional

Usage notes

  • Complimentary and complementary are frequently confused and misused in place of one another.

Extensive Definition

distinguish Complement Compliment may be
  • An expression of praise, congratulation or encouragement.
  • The correct respectful actions paid to a superior, such as saluting an officer in the armed forces.
  • "Compliments", a song by Bloc Party from their 2005 album Silent Alarm

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

acclamatory, admiring, adulatory, appreciative, approbatory, bland, blandishing, blarneying, buttery, cajoling, charitable, commendatory, congratulational, congratulatory, costless, courtierly, courtly, eleemosynary, encomiastic, eulogistic, expenseless, fair-spoken, fawning, fine-spoken, flattering, for free, for love, for nothing, free, free as air, free for nothing, free gratis, free of charge, free of cost, freebie, fulsome, giftlike, given, gratis, gratuitous, gratulant, gratulatory, gushing, honey-mouthed, honey-tongued, honeyed, insincere, insinuating, laudatory, mealymouthed, obsequious, oily, oily-tongued, on the house, panegyric, panegyrical, regardful, respectful, slimy, slobbery, smarmy, smooth, smooth-spoken, smooth-tongued, soapy, soft-soaping, sycophantic, unbought, unctuous, unpaid-for, untaxed, wheedling, without charge
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