1. the quality or state of being complementary.

noun plural -ties

  1. a state or system that involves complementary components
  2. physics the principle that the complete description of a phenomenon in microphysics requires the use of two distinct theories that are complementary to each otherSee also duality (def. 2)

1908, a term in physics, from complementary + -ity.


  1. The correspondence or similarity between nucleotides or strands of nucleotides of DNA and RNA molecules that allows precise pairing.
  2. The affinity that an antigen and an antibody have for each other as a result of the chemical arrangement of their combining sites.

  1. The concept that the underlying properties of entities (especially subatomic particles) may manifest themselves in contradictory forms at different times, depending on the conditions of observation; thus, any physical model of an entity exclusively in terms of one form or the other will be necessarily incomplete. For example, although a unified quantum mechanical understanding of such phenomena as light has been developed, light sometimes exhibits properties of waves and sometimes properties of particles (an example of wave-particle duality). See also uncertainty principle.

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