return the compliment

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return the compliment

1. Literally, for one to give a compliment to the person who has given a compliment to one. I always feel the need to return the compliment when someone says something nice to me.
2. To reciprocate someone's actions. You helped me last week, so I'll return the compliment and do your filing. If Tiffany's the one who started that rumor about me, I'll just return the compliment with a rumor about her.
See also: compliment, return

return the compliment

 and return someone's compliment
to pay a compliment to someone who has paid you a compliment. Mary told me that my hair looked nice, so I returned her compliment and told her that her hair was lovely. When someone says something nice, it is polite to return the compliment.
See also: compliment, return

return the compliment

Also, return the favor. Repay someone in kind, as in Her political opponent came out with a smear campaign, and she returned the compliment. Neither the compliment nor the favor in this idiom is necessarily desirable. [First half of 1700s]
See also: compliment, return

return the compliment

1 give a compliment in return for another. 2 retaliate or respond in kind.
See also: compliment, return

reˌturn the ˈcompliment

do or say the same pleasant thing that somebody else has done or said to you: Thanks for a lovely meal. We’ll try and return the compliment very soon.
See also: compliment, return
References in periodicals archive ?
Yet another instance of this is the Chanel Haute Couture ' sari' drape dress, which features in the May issue of Vogue UK in a photoshoot under the caption " So sari, so special." A return compliment? Or yet more evidence that trends move the way the market does?
"You've been great at hosting 'Celebrity Duets,'" Nancy told Anabella, who in return complimented the singer on her fabulous appearance.
“Dreamy ocean hues of seaweed green, glittering blues and blacks, nude net and sand all for the Mermaid to entice her Officer, who in return compliments her in emerald green, smokey quartz, petrol and of course the classic and chic dark tortoise shell, but this time with a brand new matte finish.”
"I don't think he needs me to return compliments," said O'Neill, who himself has been praised by Ferguson.