‘Complement’ or ‘compliment’?

Complement and compliment (together with related words such as complementary and complimentary) are frequently confused. They are pronounced in the same way but have quite different meanings: as a verb complement means ‘add to something in a way that enhances or improves’, as in:

A classic blazer complements a look that’s smart or casual.

while compliment means ‘admire and praise someone for something’, as in:

He complimented her on her appearance.


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