From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishcomplimentcom‧pli‧ment1 /ˈkɒmpləmənt $ ˈkɑːm-/ ●○○ noun 1 PRAISE[countable] a remark that shows you admire someone or something All the guests paid her extravagant compliments. Being compared to Abba is a great compliment.compliment on compliments on her appearance2 → take something as a compliment3 ADMIRE[singular] an action that shows you admire someone He paid MacLennan the finest compliment of all by imitating him.compliment to It’s a great compliment to the band that he came out of retirement to interview them.4 → fish for compliments5 → compliments6 → with the compliments of somebody/with our compliments7 → the compliments of the season8 → return the compliment9 → back-handed complimentCOLLOCATIONSverbspay/give somebody a complimentHe was always paying her compliments.mean something as a complimentWhen I said she’d lost weight, I meant it as a compliment.get/receive a complimentThe exhibition has received a lot of compliments from the public.accept a compliment (=show that you are pleased to have been given a compliment)She accepted his compliment graciously.adjectivesa great complimentHe said he loved my paintings, which was a great compliment.the highest compliment (=the best thing you can say)The highest compliment you can pay an actor is to say they don’t look as if they are acting.an unexpected complimentJohn blushed at the unexpected compliment.
Examples from the Corpuscompliment• In any walk of life that would be a compliment.• In my opinion, comparison to the Nature Conservancy is a compliment.• Yet his manner made it clear that he was simply stating a fact, not flattering with a compliment.• It was the third time she had failed to agree with his criticism and offered a compensating compliment.• The appointment represented an extraordinary compliment to Giap, the former schoolteacher.• He's always paying her compliments and buying her flowers.• Devote most of your time to reinforcing good behavior, with smiles, hugs, compliments or special privileges.• We suggest that the choosing of the names for the child enables the parents to pay compliments to other relatives.• Station commander's compliments, and could Major Schramm spare him a few minutes?• ''You have lovely hair'', said Bob to Emma, who blushed at the compliment.• "You look great!" "Thanks for the compliment."• Rob always showered me with compliments and made me feel special.paid ... compliment• All Félix's guests who came to dine at the château paid her extravagant compliments.complimentcom‧pli‧ment2 /ˈkɒmpləment $ ˈkɑːm-/ ●○○ verb [transitive] PRAISEto say something nice to someone in order to praise themcompliment somebody on something Bob complimented me on my new hairstyle. The groom was so nervous he forgot to compliment the bridesmaids.► see thesaurus at praise→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpuscompliment• Stephany received loud, sustained applause when complimented by Roberts yesterday.• They complimented each other for their ability to collaborate effectively as a team.• She blushed when men complimented her.• The man complimented him on his footwork and suggested that he apply for a dance host position.compliment somebody on something• All of us complimented Joe on his cooking.Origin compliment1 (1600-1700) French Italian, from Spanish cumplimiento, from cumplir; → COMPLY