Definition of Complementary

1. Noun. Either one of two chromatic colors that when mixed together give white (in the case of lights) or grey (in the case of pigments). "Yellow and blue are complementaries"

2. Adjective. Of words or propositions so related that each is the negation of the other. "`male' and `female' are complementary terms"
Similar to: Antonymous

3. Adjective. Acting as or providing a complement (something that completes the whole).

Definition of Complementary

1. a. Serving to fill out or to complete; as, complementary numbers.

2. n. One skilled in compliments.

Definition of Complementary

1. Adjective. Acting as a complement. ¹

2. Adjective. (genetics) Of the specific pairings of the bases in DNA and RNA. ¹

3. Adjective. (physics) Pertaining to pairs of properties in quantum mechanics that are inversely related to each other, such as speed & position and energy & time. (See also Heisenberg uncertainty principle.) ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Complementary

1. [n -RIES]

Medical Definition of Complementary

1. Supplying a defect or helping to do so, making complete, accessory. Origin: L. Complere = to fill This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology (11 Mar 2008)

Lexicographical Neighbors of Complementary

complement system
complement unit
complemental air
complementarity determining regions
complementary (current term)
complementary DNA
complementary DNA cloning
complementary DNA library
complementary air
complementary angles
complementary antonym
complementary base pairing
complementary base pairs
complementary color
complementary colour
complementary colours
complementary distribution
complementary function
complementary functions

Literary usage of Complementary

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. A Text Book of Physiology by Michael Foster (1900)
"The following may be taken as characteristic complementary colours, ... It will be understood that the above are not the only complementary colours; ..."

2. A Textbook of Physiology by Michael Foster (1891)
"may be taken as characteristic complementary colours, the respective ... It will be understood that the above are not the only complementary colours; ..."

3. Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar for Schools and Colleges: Founded on by Joseph Henry Allen, James Bradstreet Greenough, Benjamin Leonard D'Ooge (1903)
"The peculiarity of the complementary Infinitive construction is that no Subject Accusative is in general admissible or conceivable. ..."

4. A Text-book of Physics: Including a Collection of Examples and Questions by William Watson (1920)
"384 and 386. 402. complementary Colours.—Two colours are said to be complementary when, if combined, they produce the sensation of white. ..."

5. A Treatise on the Analytic Geometry of Three Dimensions by George Salmon (1882)
"many points does it meet the complementary curve of intersection ?" Thus, in the question last considered, the surfaces /*, r, intersect in a double curve m ..."

6. University of Toronto Studies by University of Toronto (1900)
"The complementary of XI lies between 21 and 22, very near 22, while the most ... The complementary of XIX lies between 9 and 10, closer to 9 than to 10, ..."

7. Welfare as an Economic Quantity by George Pendleton Watkins (1915)
"complementary utility is proportional to contribution to satisfaction over and ... complementary utility thus depends upon suitableness only and not upon ..."

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