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A substrate integrated waveguide with square complementary split-ring resonators (CSRRs) etched on the waveguide surface is investigated in this paper. The proposed structures allow the implementation of a forward-wave passband propagating below the characteristic cutoff frequency of the waveguide. By changing the orientations of the CSRRs, which are incorporated in the waveguide surface and can be interpreted in terms of electric dipoles, varied passband characteristics are observed. A detailed explanation for the generation and variations of the passbands has been illuminated. The application of this waveguide and CSRR combination technique to the design of miniaturized waveguide bandpass filters characterized by transmission zeros is then illustrated. Filter design methodology is examined. These proposed filters exhibit high selectivity and compact size due to the employment of the subwavelength resonators and an evanescent-wave transmission. By slightly altering the configuration of the CSRRs, we find that the propagation of the TE10 mode can be suppressed and filters with improved selectivity and stopband rejection can be obtained. To verify the presented concept, three different types of filters are fabricated based on the standard printed circuit board process. The measured results are in good agreement with the simulation.