Complete: Other Words to Use Instead of “Complete”

Posted On: October 6, 2015

Complete: Synonyms & Similar Phrases to Use

We completed the Tour of St. George!
We completed the Tour of St. George!
I recount the experience here.

The word “complete” is a common word used in Indian English in many parts of South India. When we work on widening vocabulary, we look at simple ways to improve our vocabulary. Let’s look at some simple words or phrases we can use in place of ‘complete’ to enrich our vocabulary in easy, conversational ways.

We will study examples of synonyms using example sentences.

Example Sentence: We will complete the project on December 1st.

What synonyms can we use in place of complete while keeping all other words in the statement intact?

Replacements are in bold.

We will finish the project on December 1st.
We will hand over the project on December 1st.
We will turn in the project on December 1st.

Let’s say the project is a website. What other word could be used instead of complete?

We will launch the website on December 1st.

So, depending on other elements of the sentence, the synonym can also change.

How can we say the original statement using any of the following synonyms for complete: consummate, finalize, perfect, polish, close out, conclude, end, finish, round (off or out), terminate, wind up, wrap up?

Some ideas include:

Let’s finalize this project by December 1st.
We can close out on this by December 1st.
This project will be wrapped up by December 1st.
When can we wind up this project? 
When will this project get over with

The last question in this list uses the phrase “get over with” in place of complete. This phrase has a different tone than the others. The other phrases have more of a positive tone. The last phrase “get over with” has a bit of a hostile tone, especially in a corporate environment. While the context changes based on the relationship of the people saying this to each other, one possible meaning could be, “When will we finish this? It seems to be dragging on and never finishing. We have had so many roadblocks and delays. I just want this project to finish.” The use of “get over with” may have a defeatist feel as well.  I don’t suggest to use this phrase with clients. In case you hear it from the, they are probably frustrated.

What other sentences can you come up with that have the same meaning as the original sentence (We will complete the project on December 1st.)? Feel free to share them in the comments section below.

How do I use perfect and polish in place of complete?

The terms “perfect” and “polish” have a slightly different meaning in most contexts. In many contexts, polish or perfect means to improve something, not necessarily starting it from scratch but improving on already created material. 

Note that there are two pronunciations for the word perfect. Perfect has two meanings: with one pronunciation it means to improve, while the other pronunciation means ideal or the best. (Listen to both pronunciations here.) 

There is another idiom “polish off” which means to complete or finish something, but mostly used in relation to food. “Wow Jake really polished off his birthday cake! He has a sweet tooth!” “I couldn’t believe Terry polished off that big breakfast platter because it had three eggs, three pancakes and 3 sausages.” Usually the use of polish off in relation to food has a meaning of eating more than expected, eating something faster than expected, or eating without sharing (being a bit selfish). 

What other words, phrases or idioms have you heard or used for the word ‘complete’ that may be missing from this post? Feel free to share them in the comments section below. Thank you. 

Jennifer Kumar helps your Indian offshore teams communicate with more confidence and poise with US, UK or foreign counterparts. Contact us for more information.

Related Posts:

Synonyms for Horrible, Great, Informed 
Tips to improve vocabulary

Original post date 10/15, updated 5/2020

Photo credit: Krishna Kumar



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