Definition of return the compliment in English:

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return the compliment

1Give a compliment in return for another.
Example sentences
  • Paul compliments me on my dancing and I return the compliment: ‘well, that was a great groove.’
1.1Retaliate or respond in kind.
Example sentences
  • There's no chance of them doing me any favours, so I have every intention of returning the compliment if I get the chance.
  • At the welcome party local schoolchildren performed a concert much to the appreciation of the Bolivians, who in turn returned the compliment by performing a number of musical pieces.
  • I was invited to their school and I returned the compliment by inviting them to the Commons.
See parent entry: compliment
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