There are two different meanings of "complement" on the Cambridge Dictionary.

to make something else seem better or more attractive when combining with it


a part of a clause that usually follows the verb in English and adds more information about the subject or object

with the latter, the dictionary tags it as "LANGUAGE"

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I guess the tag means the word "complement" serves as a English grammar term with that meaning.

By "term", I mean

a word or expression used in relation to a particular subject, often to describe something official or technical

From the Cambridge Dictionary

In this context, the "particular subject" is English grammar.

In contrast, the first meaning does not serves as a term. Could I call it "plain English"?

Similarly, "antonym" is an English grammar term while "opposite" is not.

Is my understanding correct?

If that is what it means, why the dictionary doesn't give "synonym" that tag? If "synonym" is just plain English, what is the corresponding English grammar term?

  • Yes, that is what it means. If the presentation of this dictionary isn't clear to you, consider just using a different dictionary. – The Photon Jun 22 '20 at 3:10
  • 2nd definition: It means that the word "complement" is often used in the field of language learning or language teaching, note the word specialized which accompanies it. – Mari-Lou A Jun 22 '20 at 8:04
  • @Mari-LouA Thank you. "often used in some field", does it fit the definition of "term"? – RobertH Jun 22 '20 at 8:29
  • I'm not sure what you mean. "In the field of something" means the topic/subject or work that one is involved with. – Mari-Lou A Jun 22 '20 at 8:34

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