Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An expression of praise, admiration, or congratulation.
  • n. A formal act of civility, courtesy, or respect.
  • n. Good wishes; regards: Extend my compliments to your parents. See Usage Note at complement.
  • transitive v. To pay a compliment to.
  • transitive v. To show fondness, regard, or respect for by giving a gift or performing a favor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An expression of praise, congratulation, encouragement, or respect.
  • n. Complimentary language; courtesy, flattery.
  • n. Common misspelling of complement.
  • v. To pay a compliment; to express a favorable opinion.
  • v. Common misspelling of complement.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An expression, by word or act, of approbation, regard, confidence, civility, or admiration; a flattering speech or attention; a ceremonious greeting.
  • intransitive v. To pass compliments; to use conventional expressions of respect.
  • transitive v. To praise, flatter, or gratify, by expressions of approbation, respect, or congratulation; to make or pay a compliment to.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To pay a compliment to; flatter or gratify by expressions of approbation, admiration, esteem, or respect, or by acts implying these feelings: as, to compliment a man on his personal appearance.
  • To give complimentary congratulations to; felicitate: as, to compliment a prince on the birth of a son.
  • To manifest kindness or regard for by a gift or other favor: as, he complimented us with tickets for the exhibition.
  • To pass compliments; use ceremony or ceremonious language.
  • n. A formal act or expression of civility, respect, or regard: as, the compliments of the season; to present one's compliments.
  • n. An expression of praise, commendation, or admiration: as, he paid you a high compliment within my hearing.
  • n. Flattery; polite, especially insincere, praise or commendation.
  • n. A present or favor bestowed; a gift.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. say something to someone that expresses praise
  • n. a remark (or act) expressing praise and admiration
  • v. express respect or esteem for

Etymologies

French, from Italian complimento, from Spanish cumplimiento, from cumplir, to complete, from Latin complēre, to fill up : com-, intensive pref.; see com- + plēre, to fill; see pelə-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French, from Italian complimento, from Vulgar Latin complire, from Latin complere (Wiktionary)
From French, from Italian complimento Spanish cumplimiento, from cumplir, from Vulgar Latin complire, from Latin complere. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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