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complement - definition and synonyms


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noun [countable] complement pronunciation in British English /ˈkɒmplɪmənt/
Word Forms
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  1. 1
    something that is added to something else
    complement to:

    Her youthful energy will be a welcome complement to the strength and experience of the team.

  2. 2
    something that combines well with something else
    complement to:

    Our sauces are the perfect complement to any meal.

  3. 3
    the number of people or things that something has
    full complement (=the largest number possible or necessary):

    We already have our full complement of workers.

    complement of:

    the government department with the largest complement of civil servants

  4. 4
    linguistics in active clauses, the part of a clause that comes after a linking verb such as ‘be’, ‘seem’, or ‘appear’ and identifies or describes the subject. A complement is usually a noun or adjective. For example in the sentences ‘Parking is always a problem in city-centres’ and ‘Sometimes the future seems very uncertain’, the complements are ‘a problem’ and ‘very uncertain’.
  5. 5
    maths an angle that is added to another angle to form an angle of 90 degrees


used to describe something which is done more carefully and over a longer period of time …

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the practice of giving birth in the presence of several friends and relatives

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