complement


complement
complement n Complement, supplement are comparable both as nouns meaning one thing that makes up for a want or deficiency in another thing and as verbs meaning to supply what is needed to make up for such a want or deficiency.
Complement implies a completing; it may suggest such a relation between two things or two groups of things that if they are put together they form a whole, or the full number, amount, or quantity necessary for a given purpose; thus, a grammatical complement is a word or phrase which must be added to a predicate if the latter is to make a definite assertion (as well in "he feels well," free in "to set him free," of no use in "it proved of no use")
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bought a farm complete with its complement of implements and livestock

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you need two more chairs to complement those you already have in the room

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However, the term even more often suggests such disparity in two things that what is supplied by either one is lacking in the other, with the result that their actual or theoretical combination gives a completeness that constitutes or approaches perfection
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had found someone whose . . . masculinity was the very complement of his own fragile gracesHorace Gregory

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no adequate conception of the pictorial art of Asia can be attained without taking account of these wonderful works [of Japanese figure painting], complementing, as they do, the philosophic and poetic art which culminated in the Chinese painting of the Sung era— Binyon

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the chief products of Belgium and the Netherlands appeared to complement more than to duplicate one another— Valentine

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Supplement implies an addition to something relatively complete but capable of improvement, enrichment, or enhancement by such an addition; thus, a supplement to a newspaper (often, a "book supplement" or "literary supplement") is an additional section which enriches the character of the issue. Usually the term means exactly this
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a year of foreign travel is an excellent supplement to a college education

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supplement a work with an index

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the detailed study of history should be supplemented by brilliant outlines— Russell

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Sometimes, however, the term carries the implication of needless addition
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the policy of apartheid is only a political supplement to an economic policy— Ross

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Sometimes, on the other hand, it comes close to complement in suggesting essential differences or a need of combination if perfection is to be attained
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physics, history, and religion have their different valuations of experience .... A complete philosophy would find room for all and would show how they supplement each other— Inge

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the settle, which is the necessary supplement to a fire so open that nothing less than a strong breeze will carry up the smoke— Hardy

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Analogous words: counterpart, correlate, *parallel
complement vb supplement (see under COMPLEMENT n)
Analogous words: complete, finish, *close

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • complément — [ kɔ̃plemɑ̃ ] n. m. • 1308; de l a. fr. complir « remplir »; repris 1690; lat. complementum, de complere « remplir » 1 ♦ Ce qui s ajoute ou doit s ajouter à une chose pour qu elle soit complète. ⇒ achèvement, couronnement. Le complément est… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • complement — COMPLEMÉNT, complemente, s.n. 1. Ceea ce se adaugă la ceva spre a l întregi; complinire. 2. Parte secundară a propoziţiei care determină un verb, un adjectiv sau un adverb. 3. Substanţă de natură proteică prezentă în serul normal şi care… …   Dicționar Român

  • Complement — Complément Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Complément à 2 — Complément à deux Le complément à deux est une représentation binaire des entiers relatifs qui permet d effectuer les opérations arithmétiques usuelles naturellement. bit de signe 0 1 1 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • complement — COMPLEMENT. s. m. Ce qui s ajoute à une chose pour lui donner sa perfection. On dit en Théologie, Complément de béatitude, pour exprimer Le comble de la beatitude. La résurrection des corps sera le complément de la béatitude des Saints.Complément …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • Complement — Com ple*ment, n. [L. complementun: cf. F. compl[ e]ment. See {Complete}, v. t., and cf. {Compliment}.] 1. That which fills up or completes; the quantity or number required to fill a thing or make it complete. [1913 Webster] 2. That which is… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • complement — complement, compliment, complementary, complimentary 1. Complement and compliment each function as noun and verb; in pronunciation they are largely indistinguishable except that in the verbal function compliment has a fuller i sound in its second …   Modern English usage

  • Complement — (v. lat. Complementum), 1) Ergänzung; 2) (Math.), C. einer Größe ist im Allgemeinen das, was zu dieser addirt werden muß, um ein gewisses Ganze zu erhalten. Complement eines Winkels od. Kreisbogens ist beziehungsweise derjenige Winkel od. Bogen,… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • complement — ► NOUN 1) a thing that contributes extra features to something else so as to enhance or improve it. 2) the number or quantity that makes something complete. 3) a word or words used with a verb to complete the meaning of the predicate (e.g. happy… …   English terms dictionary

  • Complement a un — Complément à un Le complément à un est l opération qui inverse la valeur de chacun des bits d un nombre binaire. Il est la première étape du complément à deux. Exemple Ce document provient de « Compl%C3%A9ment %C3%A0 un ». Catégorie :… …   Wikipédia en Français


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