Date: 1600-1700
Language: French
Origin: Italian, from Spanish cumplimiento, from cumplir; COMPLY


1 noun
1 [countable] a remark that shows you admire someone or something:
Being compared to Abba is a great compliment.
Rob Andrew had a quiet game, which is meant as a compliment.
All Félix's guests paid her extravagant compliments.
To Joe the greatest compliment was to be considered amusing.

take something as a compliment

to be pleased about what someone says about you, even though they may not mean to be nice:
They all seem to think that I ask rather cheeky questions, which I'll take as a compliment.
3 [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.

fish for compliments

to try to make someone say something nice about you


[plural] praise or good wishes:
This soup is delicious; my compliments to the chef.

with the compliments of somebody/with our compliments

TCM formal used by a person or company when they send or give something to you:
With the compliments of J. Nocuold & Son.
Please accept these tickets with our compliments.

the compliments of the season

old-fashioned used as a spoken or written greeting at Christmas and New Year

return the compliment

to behave towards someone in the same way that they have behaved towards you:
They didn't take a lot of notice of me, and I returned the compliment.

back-handed compliment

British English left-handed compliment American English something that someone says to you which is nice and not nice at the same time:
'You've got a brain. Try using it.' 'Thanks for the backhanded compliment!'

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