Definition of complementarity in US English:



  • 1A complementary relationship or situation.

    ‘a culture based on the complementarity of men and women’
    • ‘In contrast, the complementarities between the American and the Chinese economies, although considerable, are not nearly so great.’
    • ‘In particular, he sees complementarities between their theories of motivation and suggests that each discipline can learn something from the other.’
    • ‘These basic differences between oral and written communication are a fruitful domain for continued dialogue about the strengths, limitations, and complementarities of the first-year rhetoric classroom.’
    • ‘As generalists become more different from one another, interorganizational complementarities likely increase, thereby yielding more opportunities for alliance formation.’
    • ‘The new arsenals, shipyards, mines, and steelworks operated in a vacuum, with neither infrastructure nor complementarities.’
    • ‘The duality and complementarities of marketplace and Cyberspace raise the issue of relationship-building in an environment that is both virtual and physical.’
    • ‘Second, there are intellectual as well as technical economies of scale, external economies, and complementarities.’
    • ‘For instance, the essential recapitalization of the Coast Guard must meet distinctive Coast Guard operational needs; it must also capture complementarities and synergisms with the Navy.’
    • ‘The job is to differentiate them in such a way as to expose their complementarities, to make clear how static and dynamic elements of systems can coexist, and to show how a division of labour can be constructed amongst them.’
    • ‘Such advantages are further bolstered by the underlying complementarities between the U.S. economy and the economies of the developing world - especially those in Asia.’
    • ‘Furthermore, culture seems to contain contradictions, such as income redistribution to the needy and simultaneous espousal of equality of opportunity, as well as complementarities which can serve as organizing points.’
    • ‘Many fruit and vegetable growers also grew tobacco, since there exist complementarities between horticultural crops and tobacco.’
    • ‘My earlier post was an admittedly rudimentary attempt to come up with a more accurate way of describing gender differences and complementarities.’
    • ‘Technological complementarities often shape the eventual consequences and productivity of new technologies.’
    • ‘Arthur argued that increasing returns from learning, network externalities, and technological complementarities lead one technology eventually to dominate a given market.’
    • ‘We have vigorously set about recovering our mutual understanding, building a broad base for our co-operation and redeeming the promise of our complementarities.’
    • ‘We have to be careful lest in a search for cost-effective complementarities between Navy and Coast Guard we underplay the vital point that the first duty of the latter is excellence as a coast guard.’
    • ‘Emerging complementarities between the economies of the two regions, buttressed by macro-economic reforms of the recent past, have contributed to a rapid growth in trade, investment and financial flows between them.’
    • ‘Optimal development requires each side to harness their complementarities and use the diversity of views and interests to constructive ends.’
    • ‘The important factors were the existence of a smooth working relationship and technological complementarity.’
    1. 1.1Physics The concept that two contrasted theories, such as the wave and particle theories of light, may be able to explain a set of phenomena, although each separately only accounts for some aspects.
      • ‘No matter which way we look at it, it's a problem for complementarity, because we are able to see both wave and particle aspects at once.’
      • ‘The concept of complementarities, conceived of in the 1920s by the physicist Niels Bohr, says that to understand the behavior of electrons, it is necessary to describe them as point like particles and extended waves.’
      • ‘The complementarity manifested in quantum laws reflects the inability of our classical concepts to accommodate the richness and subtlety of the world, and removes the Cartesian divide that insulates the observer from the observed.’
      • ‘Bohr may be thought to have got perilously close to this when he suggested that complementarity could shed light on the age-old question of determinism and free will in relation to human nature.’
      • ‘Frayn ingeniously links several other physics metaphors, from Scrodinger's wave equation to complementarity and the disintegration of the radioactive elements.’
    2. 1.2Law The principle that jurisdictions will not overlap in legislation, administration, or prosecution of crime.
      • ‘But the Pentagon and its congressional allies were not satisfied with the principle of complementarity as protection against unjustified prosecutions.’
      • ‘The use of the ICC is further caveated by the principle of complementarity, which requires that national criminal jurisdiction will first have to be shown to be an unviable option, before the ICC mechanism can be accessed.’
      • ‘Under the principle of complementarity, States that have jurisdiction over a particular incident have the opportunity to investigate and prosecute.’
      • ‘By and large, the principle of complementarity enshrined in the Rome Statute of the ICC seems sound: as a rule it is for national courts to adjudicate on international crimes.’
      • ‘The reciprocity that one talks about is the complementarity of legislation where one State authorises a judge to travel to take evidence and another State says, ‘Welcome, we will give you the facilities.’’