Definition of compline in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkämplin/


A service of evening prayers forming part of the Divine Office of the Western Christian Church, traditionally said (or chanted) before retiring for the night.
Example sentences
  • The 30-minute worship draws upon an Anglican prayer service from New Zealand, Lutheran or Episcopal compline, and Holden Evening Prayer.
  • I cannot be concentrating on reciting lauds and compline at church, or on private prayers at home, and at the same time fully attend to my granddaughter's emotional needs - or talk over some thorny bioethical question with my husband.
  • So begins one of my favorite prayers, from the service for compline in the Episcopal prayer book.


Middle English: from Old French complie, feminine past participle of obsolete complir 'to complete', from Latin complere 'fill up' (see complete). The ending -ine was probably influenced by Old French matines 'matins'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: com·pline

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