1. complementary distribution.
  2. Genetics. the occurrence of a wild-type phenotype when two closely related, interacting mutant genes are expressed in the same cell.
  3. Grammar.
    1. complement(def 6).
    2. the use of grammatical complements.
  4. cooperation in lowering tariffs to permit the movement of components among different countries when it is more profitable for each country to produce parts of a product than the whole.


  1. the act or process of forming a complement
  2. genetics the combination of two homologous chromosomes, each with a different recessive mutant gene, in a single cell to produce a normal phenotype. The deficiency of one homologue is supplied by the normal allele of the other


  1. Functional interaction between two defective viruses permitting replication under conditions inhibitory to the single virus.
  2. Interaction between two genetic units, one or both of which are defective, permitting the organism containing these units to function normally, whereas it could not do so if one unit were absent.
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