Is 'complimentative' a word? There are a bunch of definitions online but I couldn't find it in the British National Corpus or the OED (from searching oxforddictionaries.com).

Does this mean I should avoid it in academia/formal writing?

  • 2
    You don't access the OED from that link. Try other dictionaries (eg Webster's 1913 at thefreedictionary). The word is doubtless rarely used. Aug 8, 2014 at 18:15

1 Answer 1


People would no doubt understand it, but complimentative is not normally used. If you are looking for a common word with the same meaning, use complimentary.

  • OED (found at oed.com) has a rather bald entry, = complimentary, with a solitary citation from 1778.
    – Andrew Leach
    Aug 8, 2014 at 19:33
  • I always associated complimentary with something free / some sort of extra benefit. I don't know how I've never realized complimentary has been the correct word for what I've been looking for! Thanks.
    – Mdev
    Aug 8, 2014 at 19:47

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