complement is on the Academic Word List.



Plain form

Third-person singular

Past tense

Past participle

Present participle

  1. (transitive) If   complements  ,   makes   complete or whole.
    We believe your addition will complement the team.
  2. (transitive) If two people or things complement each other, each has what the other is missing or needs.
    The flavors of the pepper and garlic complement each other, giving a very rich taste in combination.
    I believe our talents really complement each other.
  3. (transitive) To change a voltage, number, color, etc. to its complement.



  1. Something which complements.
    We believe you will make a good complement to our team.
  2. (grammar) A complement is a word or phrase that is needed to make another word grammatical.
    In he seems nice, nice is the complement of seem.
  3. (geometry) an angle which, together with a given angle, makes a right angle.
  4. The color which, when mixed with the given color, gives black (for mixing pigments) or white (for mixing light).
    The complement of blue is orange.
  5. In boating: The full number of people needed to man a ship (esp. a ship of war)
    The ship's complement is 35 people. 35 people are needed to sail the ship

Grammar (edit)
parts of speech noun - verb - adjective - adnoun - adverb - determinative/determiner - article - participle - pronoun - conjunction - preposition - interjection
grammatical functions head - dependent - subject - predicate - predicator - object - complement - predicative complement - predicative adjunct - predicative oblique - appositive oblique - modifier - supplement- adjunct - determiner/specifier
clauses main clause - dependent clause - subordinate clause - relative clause