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What is the opposite of “complimentary”?

What is the antonym of “complimentary”?

The antonym of complimentary is critical, disapproving, and insulting. The antonyms critical, disapproving, and insulting convey a negative or unfavorable opinion about something or someone. It implies a lack of praise, approval, or admiration.

See all the antonyms of “complimentary”

Brief Definitions of the Antonym(s)

Learn when and how to use these words with these examples!


Expressing adverse or disapproving comments or judgments; finding fault.


The teacher was critical of the student's essay and pointed out several areas for improvement.


Showing an unfavorable opinion or feeling of disapproval towards something or someone.


Her parents were disapproving of her decision to drop out of college and pursue a career in music.


Causing offense or injury to someone's dignity or self-respect.


His insulting remarks about her appearance made her feel embarrassed and hurt.

How are these antonyms different from each other?

  • 1Critical implies finding fault or expressing disapproval, while disapproving conveys an unfavorable opinion or feeling of disapproval.
  • 2Insulting goes beyond disapproval and causes offense or injury to someone's dignity or self-respect.

Good things to know

  • 1Giving Feedback: Use critical to provide constructive criticism and help someone improve.
  • 2Expressing Disapproval: Use disapproving to show that you disagree with someone's actions or decisions.
  • 3Avoiding Offense: Avoid using insulting words as they can cause offense or hurt someone's feelings.

Remember this!

The antonyms have distinct nuances: Critical conveys disapproval by finding fault, disapproving shows an unfavorable opinion, and insulting goes beyond disapproval and causes offense. Use these words to give feedback, express disapproval, and avoid causing offense or hurt.

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