Definition of complete in English:

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Pronunciation: /kəmˈpliːt/


1Having all the necessary or appropriate parts: a complete list of courses offered by the university no woman’s wardrobe is complete without this pretty top
More example sentences
  • It is not necessary to produce a complete list, or a closer analysis here.
  • Elements of each of those explanations may well be necessary components of a complete picture, but they are insufficient.
  • Finally, I added a complete list of archived postings by category.
1.1Entire; full: I only managed one complete term at school the complete works of Shakespeare
More example sentences
  • The entire community is not complete without those with disabilities.
  • After two complete bars, the entire band returns, now dearly playing in compound meter.
  • If you invest before July, it should be able to run for its complete term and you should get the full benefit.
entire, whole, full, total, intact, uncut, unshortened, unabridged, comprehensive
1.2 (complete with) Having (something) as an additional part or feature: the house comes complete with gas central heating and double glazing
More example sentences
  • Get other family members to help write the family tree, complete with your new addition.
  • Once inside a staircase, complete with threadbare carpet, leads to a landing.
  • Its Bob the Builder series has been sold around the world complete with merchandising and even a hit single.
1.3 [predicative] Having run its full course; finished: the restoration of the chapel is complete
More example sentences
  • It is quite a relief to have it finished and complete - it's been on my mind since April.
  • The blasting and rock removal scheduled to be complete was not finished.
  • With digital media such work can even look finished and complete.
2 [attributive] (Often used for emphasis) to the greatest extent or degree; total: a complete ban on smoking their marriage came as a complete surprise to me
More example sentences
  • The other is the complete lack of finesse necessary to drive it.
  • Here we were looking at the blazing sunshine of the entire weekend, a complete contrast to our present weather.
  • A single wasp brought an entire factory to a complete standstill after it was spotted on top of a forklift truck.
absolute, out-and-out, utter, total, real, outright, downright, thoroughgoing, thorough, positive, proper, veritable, prize, perfect, consummate, unqualified, unmitigated, sheer, rank;
inveterate, congenital, dyed-in-the-wool, true blue;
in every respect;
North American  full-bore
informal deep-dyed
British informal right
Australian/New Zealand informal fair
archaic arrant
rare right-down, apodictic
2.1 (also compleat) chiefly humorous Skilled at every aspect of a particular activity; consummate: his range of skills made him the complete footballer
The spelling compleat is a revival of the 17th century use as in Walton's The Compleat Angler
More example sentences
  • As I read The Compleat Gentleman, I was struck by Miner's recurring point that, in today's world, compleat gentleman are few and far between.
  • Notwithstanding that only a few men yearn to be compleat gentlemen - to live chivalrously - the yearning is a constant, from one millennium to the next.
  • ‘I thought you were the compleat hippie,’ said one, expressing a common sentiment.


[with object]
1Finish making or doing: he completed his PhD in 1993
More example sentences
  • After the finish, crews completed a 23 km road section to the start of SS11.
  • Davenport completed the finishing and other details on the metalwork.
  • Students who successfully complete this course receive continuing education units from the University of Maryland University College.
finish, end, conclude, bring to a conclusion, finalize, wind up, consummate, bring to fruition;
crown, cap, set the seal on
informal wrap up, sew up, polish off, sort out
1.1 [no object] British Conclude the sale of a property: you may find yourself in a position where you have to wait for your purchaser to complete, whereas your new home is ready
More example sentences
  • As it turns out I have a buyer for my property who wants to complete immediately instead of January as planned.
  • It stated that a copy of the agreement and side letter had been sent to the Claimant and that she would be able to complete when she had them back duly signed by the Claimant.
  • The tenant is given a certain time in which to complete.
1.2 American Football (Of a quarterback) successfully throw (a forward pass) to a receiver: he was still throwing the ball hard enough to complete 48 of 76 passes
More example sentences
  • Hall of Fame receiver Steve Largent completes a pass for 11 yards.
  • First, get somebody behind center who can complete the forward pass with some regularity.
  • Shooting 72 still gives him a rush, and it's hard to believe any quarterback ever has enjoyed completing a touchdown pass more than Brett Favre.
2Provide with the item or items necessary to make (something) full or entire: complete your collection of Britain’s brightest gardening magazine quarry tiles and faded rugs complete the look
More example sentences
  • The success of the second golf classic has provided adequate funds to complete this year's tasks.
  • The only difference being that the lead carries on above your head and in fact completes a full arc.
  • That is to say, randori provides the means to complete a painted dragon by filling in the eyes.
finish off, round off, top off, make perfect, perfect, crown, cap, complement, add the finishing touch to, add the final touch to
2.1Write the required information on (a form or questionnaire): please complete the attached forms
More example sentences
  • Participants completed a short written questionnaire at the surgery.
  • Visitors are required to complete long questionnaires before being issued with an identity card.
  • Please complete the enclosed questionnaire as this will enable us to take account of the needs of your club in the plan.
fill in, fill out, fill up, answer


On the question of the use of adjectives like complete, equal, and unique with submodifiers such as very or more, see unique (usage).



Example sentences
  • To be counted as a program completer, patients must have attended at least 7 of the 10 sessions.
  • In management-speak, I am not a completer/finisher.
  • That composer may be more of an initiator than a completer, but the initial, generative idea is the composer's alone.


Late Middle English: from Old French complet or Latin completus, past participle of complere 'fill up, finish, fulfil', from com- (expressing intensive force) + plere 'fill'.

  • Complete comes from Latin complere ‘fill up, finish, fulfil’. This is also the source of comply (late 16th century) originally to fulfil an obligation; and of compliment (mid 17th century) from Italian complimento ‘fulfilment of the requirements of courtesy’; and its confusing partner complement (Late Middle English), something which contributes additional or contrasting features.

Words that rhyme with complete

accrete, autocomplete, beet, bittersweet, bleat, cheat, cleat, clubfeet, compete, compleat, conceit, Crete, deceit, delete, deplete, discreet, discrete, eat, effete, élite, entreat, escheat, estreat, excrete, feat, feet, fleet, gîte, greet, heat, leat, leet, Magritte, maltreat, marguerite, meat, meet, meet-and-greet, mesquite, mete, mistreat, neat, outcompete, peat, Pete, petite, pleat, receipt, replete, sangeet, seat, secrete, sheet, skeet, sleet, splay-feet, street, suite, sweet, teat, treat, tweet, wheat

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: com|plete

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