I've encountered the term 'compl. steel' in a document (related to mechanical engineering). Simple googling of the term shows many pages related to mechanical engineering and metalworks, but it doesn't seem any of them expand the word 'compl.'.

The search relates this term with 'complex phase', as can be seen here and here. But I don't think this is correct.

I know one thread in this forum that talks about 'compl.' as 'complement' but I cannot be fully sure if this is the correct meaning.

  • Please include the term you've encountered in the context in which it was encountered (i.e., include the whole sentence that uses "compl. steel" that you encountered). Jul 19 '20 at 11:50
  • 1
    The 'document' in question is actually a list of words without any sentences. I would like to provide more context but unfortunately there isn't any.
    – Haz
    Jul 19 '20 at 11:55
  • It as an abbreviation of complete as in "complete assembly". For example an item in a parts or stock list might be "widget complete steel" or "spraddle complete rubber" and so on. Here is another example which says "Bugaboo Ant Style Set Compl, Steel Blue" although 'steel' here refers to its colour. Jul 19 '20 at 12:13
  • Likely to be either jargon or an abbreviation made up on the spot. A procurement site might be able to help. It's not really a problem in English Usage.
    – jimm101
    Aug 1 '20 at 14:31
  • I’m voting to close this question because it's not about EL&U.
    – jimm101
    Aug 1 '20 at 14:34

The uses of "compl. steel" I can find are all for replacement parts and/or parts ordering. In these cases, the two are just separate adjectives describing the part: compl. for "complex" meaning it is not a single part but a set (complex) of parts that are sold together as a unit. And steel to describe the material in the usual sense.

e.g.: on this list of parts

Single wheel compl. nylon
Single wheel compl. steel

Finding "complex" in a parts list and not abbreviated is rarer, but some parts lists do it.

e.g.: on this part order page

Rear Wheel Complex for FH150ccATV

  • Meaning to say that 'Single wheel' belongs to a set of parts, or 'Single wheel' is itself composed of many parts?
    – Haz
    Jul 19 '20 at 12:07
  • See the list in that linked pdf: The part in question is a "single wheel complex", in one case, the complex is made of nylon, in the other it is made of steel. See also other occurrences of "compl." on that list. Jul 19 '20 at 12:10
  • Indeed. Having searched for "compl steel" in Google Books I noticed several hits where that text was preceded by the word deck, so I repeated my quoted string search with "deck compl steel". That version got me half-a dozen hits, with Google Books helpfully suggesting Did you mean "deck complete steel"? When I clicked "Yes", I got many more hits contextually similar to the first ones. Jul 19 '20 at 12:53

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