comped (adj.) Look up comped at
"given or admitted free," 1960s, see comp.
compeer (n.) Look up compeer at
early 15c., from Middle French comper, from com- "with" (see com-) + Latin parem "equal" (see par).
compel (v.) Look up compel at
mid-14c., from Old French compellir, from Latin compellere "to drive together, drive to one place" (of cattle), "to force or compel" (of persons), from com- "together" (see com-) + pellere "to drive" (see pulse (n.1)). Related: Compelled; compelling.
compelling (adj.) Look up compelling at
c. 1600, present participle adjective from compel. Meaning "irresistible" is from 1901. Related: Compellingly.
compendious (adj.) Look up compendious at
"concise," late 14c., from Old French compendieux, from Latin compendiosus "advantageous, abridged, brief," from compendium (see compendium).
compendium (n.) Look up compendium at
1580s, from Latin compendium "a shortening, saving," literally "that which is weighed together," from compendere "to weigh together," from com- "together" (see com-) + pendere "to weigh" (see pendant). Borrowed earlier as compendi (mid-15c.).
compensable (adj.) Look up compensable at
1660s, from French compensable (16c.), from compenser, from Latin compensare (see compensate).
compensate (v.) Look up compensate at
1640s, "to be equivalent;" 1650s, "to counterbalance, make up for," from Latin compensatus, past participle of compensare "to weigh one thing (against another)," thus, "to counterbalance," from com- "with" (see com-) + pensare, frequentative of pendere "to weigh" (see pendant). Meaning "to recompense, remunerate" is from 1814. Related: Compensated; compensating.
compensation (n.) Look up compensation at
late 14c., "action of compensating," from Latin compensationem (nominative compensatio) "a weighing one thing against another, a balancing," noun of action from past participle stem of compensare (see compensate). Meaning "what is given in recompense" is from c. 1600; meaning "amends for loss or damages" is from 1804; meaning "salary, wages" is attested from 1787, American English. The psychological sense is from 1914.
compensatory (adj.) Look up compensatory at
c. 1600, from French compensatoire, from Latin compensatus, past participle of compensare (see compensate). Psychological sense is from 1921.
compere (n.) Look up compere at
1738, from French compère "a godfather," from Old French compere (13c., from Medieval Latin compater) "godfather," also a friendly greeting, "friend, brother," hence "fellow, familiar, intimate" (see compadre).
compete (v.) Look up compete at
1610s, " to enter or be put in rivalry with," from Middle French compéter "be in rivalry with" (14c.), or directly from Late Latin competere "strive in common," in classical Latin "to come together, agree, to be qualified," later, "strive together," from com- "together" (see com-) + petere "to strive, seek, fall upon, rush at, attack" (see petition (n.)).

Rare 17c., revived from late 18c. in sense "to strive (alongside another) for the attainment of something" and regarded early 19c. in Britain as a Scottish or American word. Market sense is from 1840s (perhaps a back-formation from competition); athletics sense attested by 1857. Related: Competed; competing.
competence (n.) Look up competence at
1590s, "rivalry" (based on compete); c. 1600 "adequate supply;" 1630s, "sufficiency of means for living at ease," from French compétence, from Latin competentia "meeting together, agreement, symmetry," from competens, present participle of competere, especially in its earlier sense of "fall together, come together, be convenient or fitting" (see compete). Meaning "sufficiency to deal with what is at hand" is from 1790.
competency (n.) Look up competency at
1590s, "rivalry;" c. 1600, "sufficiency to satisfy the wants of life," from Latin competentia "meeting together, agreement, symmetry," from competens, present participle of competere (see compete). Meaning "sufficiency of qualification" is recorded from 1797.
competent (adj.) Look up competent at
late 14c., "suitable," from Old French competent "sufficient, appropriate, suitable," from Latin competentem (nominative competens), present participle of competere "coincide, agree" (see compete). Meaning "able, fit" is from 1640s. Legal sense is late 15c.
competition (n.) Look up competition at
c. 1600, "action of competing," from Latin competitionem (nominative competitio) "agreement, rivalry," noun of action from past participle stem of competere (see compete). Meaning "a contest for something" is from 1610s. Sense of "rivalry in the marketplace" attested from 1793; that of "entity or entities with which one competes" is from 1961, especially in business.
competitive (adj.) Look up competitive at
1826, from Latin competit-, past participle stem of competere (see compete) + -ive. Related: Competitively; competitiveness.
competitor (n.) Look up competitor at
1530s, from Middle French compétiteur (16c.), or directly from Latin competitor "rival," agent noun from competere (see compete).
compilation (n.) Look up compilation at
early 15c., "that which is compiled," also "action of compiling," from Middle French compilation, from Latin compilationem (nominative compilatio) "a compilation," literally "a pillaging," noun of action from compilare (see compile).
compile (v.) Look up compile at
early 14c., from Old French compiler "compile, collect" (13c.), from Latin compilare "to plunder, rob," probably originally "bundle together, heap up;" hence "to pack up and carry off," from com- "together" (see com-) + pilare "to compress, ram down." Related: Compiled; compiling.
compiler (n.) Look up compiler at
early 14c., from Anglo-French compilour, Old French compileur "author, chronicler," from Latin compilatorem, agent noun from compilare (see compile). Another form of the word current in early Modern English was compilator, directly from the Latin.
complacence (n.) Look up complacence at
mid-15c., "pleasure," from Medieval Latin complacentia "satisfaction, pleasure," from Latin complacentem (nominative complacens), present participle of complacere "to be very pleasing," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + placere "to please" (see please). Sense of "pleased with oneself" is 18c.
complacency (n.) Look up complacency at
1640s, from same source as complacence but with the later form of the suffix (see -cy).
complacent (adj.) Look up complacent at
1650s, "pleasing," from Latin complacentem (nominative complacens) "pleasing," present participle of complacere "be very pleasing" (see complacence). Meaning "pleased with oneself" is from 1767. Related: Complacently.
complain (v.) Look up complain at
late 14c., "find fault, lament," from stem of Old French complaindre "to lament" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *complangere, originally "to beat the breast," from Latin com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + plangere "to strike, beat the breast" (see plague (n.)). Older sense of "lament" died out 17c. Related: Complained; complaining.
complainant (n.) Look up complainant at
early 15c., from Old French complaignant, present participle of complaindre (see complain). The present participle also was used as a noun in Middle French.
complaint (n.) Look up complaint at
late 14c., "lamentation, grief," from Old French complainte (12c.) "complaint, lament," noun use of fem. past participle of complaindre (see complain). Meaning "bodily ailment" is from 1705 (often in U.S. colloquial use generalized as complaints).
complaisance (n.) Look up complaisance at
1650s, from French complaisance (14c.), in Middle French "care or desire to please," from Medieval Latin complacentia (see complacence).
complaisant (adj.) Look up complaisant at
1640s, from French complaisant (16c.), in Middle French, "pleasing," present participle of complaire "acquiesce to please," from Latin complacere "be very pleasing" (see complacent, with which it overlapped till mid-19c.). Possibly influenced in French by Old French plaire "gratify."
compleat (adj.) Look up compleat at
archaic spelling of complete (adj.).
complected (adj.) Look up complected at
1806, American English, "complexioned," a variant derivation from complexion, which, intentionally or not, shows the Latin root.
complement (n.) Look up complement at
late 14c., "that which completes," from Old French compliement "accomplishment, fulfillment" (14c., Modern French complément), from Latin complementum "that which fills up or completes," from complere "fill up" (see complete (adj.)). Originally also having senses which were taken up c. 1650-1725 by compliment.
complement (v.) Look up complement at
1610s, "exchange courtesies," from complement (n.). Meaning "make complete" is from 1640s. Related: Complemented; complementing.
complementarity (n.) Look up complementarity at
1908, a term in physics, from complementary + -ity.
complementary (adj.) Look up complementary at
1620s, "ceremonious," from complement + -ary. Sense "forming a complement" attested from 1829, earliest in complementary colors.
complete (adj.) Look up complete at
late 14c., from Old French complet "full," or directly from Latin completus, past participle of complere "to fill up, complete the number of (a legion, etc.)," transferred to "to fill, to fulfill, to finish (a task)," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + plere "to fill" (see pleio-).
complete (v.) Look up complete at
late 14c.; see complete (adj.). Related: Completed; completing.
completely (adv.) Look up completely at
1520s, from complete (adj.) + -ly (2).
completion (n.) Look up completion at
late 14c., from Latin completionem (nominative completio), noun of action from past participle stem of complere "to fill up, complete" (see complete (adj.)).
complex (adj.) Look up complex at
1650s, "composed of parts," from French complexe "complicated, complex, intricate" (17c.), from Latin complexus "surrounding, encompassing," past participle of complecti "to encircle, embrace," in transferred use, "to hold fast, master, comprehend," from com- "with" (see com-) + plectere "to weave, braid, twine, entwine," from PIE *plek-to-, from root *plek- "to plait" (see ply (v.1)). The meaning "not easily analyzed" is first recorded 1715. Complex sentence is attested from 1881.
complex (n.) Look up complex at
1650s, "a whole comprised of parts," from complex (adj.). Psychological sense of "connected group of repressed ideas" was established by C.G. Jung, 1907.
complexion (n.) Look up complexion at
mid-14c., "bodily constitution," from Old French complexion, complession "combination of humors," hence "temperament, character, make-up," from Latin complexionem (nominative complexio) "combination" (in Late Latin, "physical constitution"), from complexus (see complex (adj.)). Meaning "appearance of the skin of the face" is first recorded mid-15c. In medieval physiology, the color of the face indicated temperament or health.
complexity (n.) Look up complexity at
1721, "composite nature," from complex (adj.) + -ity. Meaning "intricacy" is from 1790. Meaning "a complex condition" is from 1794.
compliance (n.) Look up compliance at
1640s, from comply + -ance. Related: Compliancy.
compliant (adj.) Look up compliant at
1640s, from comply + -ant.
complicate (v.) Look up complicate at
1620s, "to intertwine" (as a past participle adjective, early 15c.), from Latin complicatus "folded together; confused, intricate," past participle of complicare (see complication). Meaning "to make more complex" is recorded from 1832, from earlier sense "to combine in a complex way" (17c.). Related: Complicated; complicating.
complicated (adj.) Look up complicated at
1640s, "tangled," from past participle adjective from complicate. Figurative meaning "not easy to solve, intricate, confused, difficult to unravel" is from 1650s.
complication (n.) Look up complication at
early 15c., from Middle French complication, from Latin complicationem (nominative complicatio), noun of action from past participle stem of complicare "to fold together, fold up, roll up," from com- "together" (see com-) + plicare "to fold, weave" (see ply (v.1)). Meaning "something that complicates" first recorded 1903.
complicity (n.) Look up complicity at
1650s, from French complicité, from Old French complice "accomplice, comrade, companion" (14c.), from Late Latin complicem, accusative of complex "partner, confederate," from Latin complicare "to fold together" (see complicate; also compare accomplice).
compliment (n.) Look up compliment at
"An act, or expression of civility, usually understood to include some hypocrisy, and to mean less than it declares" [Johnson], 1570s, complement, via French compliment (17c.), from Italian complimento "expression of respect and civility," from Vulgar Latin *complire, for Latin complere "to complete" (see complete (adj.)), via notion of "complete the obligations of politeness." Same word as complement but by a different etymological route; differentiated by spelling after 1650.