• Complete


    • IPA: /kəmˈpliːt/
    • Rhymes: -iːt
    • Hyphenation: com + plete


    From Middle English compleet ("full, complete"), from Old French complet or Latin completus, past participle of complere ("to fill up, fill full, fulfil, complete"), from com- + *plere ("to fill"), akin to full: see full and plenty and compare deplete, replete. Compare also complement, compliment.

    Alternative forms

    Full definition of complete


    1. (transitive) To finish; to make done; to reach the end.He completed the assignment on time.
    2. (transitive) To make whole or entire.The last chapter completes the book nicely.

    Usage notes

    This is a catenative verb that takes the gerund (-ing). See




    1. With all parts included; with nothing missing; full.
      My life will be complete once I buy this new television.
      She offered me complete control of the project.
      After she found the rook, the chess set was complete.
      • 2012, w, Well-connected Brains, Creating a complete map of the human connectome would therefore be a monumental milestone but not the end of the journey to understanding how our brains work.
    2. Finished; ended; concluded; completed.
      When your homework is complete, you can go and play with Martin.
      • 1898, Winston Churchill, The Celebrity Chapter 5, In the eyes of Mr. Farquhar Fenelon Cooke the apotheosis of the Celebrity was complete. The people of Asquith were not only willing to attend the house-warming, but had been worked up to the pitch of eagerness. The Celebrity as a matter of course was master of ceremonies.
    3. Generic intensifier.
      He is a complete bastard!
      It was a complete shock when he turned up on my doorstep.
      Our vacation was a complete disaster.
    4. (analysis, Of a metric space) in which every Cauchy sequence converges.
    5. (algebra, Of a lattice) in which every set with a lower bound has a greatest lower bound.
    6. (math, Of a category) in which all small limits exist.
    7. (logic, of a proof system of a formal system)   With respect to a given semantics, that any well-formed formula which is (semantically) valid must also be provable.Sainsbury, Mark 2001 Logical Forms : An Introduction to Philosophical Logic. Blackwell Publishing, Hong Kong (2010), p. 358.
      • Gödel's first incompleteness theorem showed that Principia could not be both consistent and complete. According to the theorem, for every sufficiently powerful logical system (such as Principia), there exists a statement G that essentially reads, "The statement G cannot be proved." Such a statement is a sort of Catch-22: if G is provable, then it is false, and the system is therefore inconsistent; and if G is not provable, then it is true, and the system is therefore incomplete.



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