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complacency

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noun com·pla·cen·cy \kəm-ˈplā-sən(t)-sē\

Simple Definition of complacency

  • : a feeling of being satisfied with how things are and not wanting to try to make them better : a complacent feeling or condition

Full Definition of complacency

plural com·pla·cen·cies

  1. 1 :  self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies

  2. 2 :  an instance of usually unaware or uninformed self-satisfaction

Examples of complacency

  1. He sees a dangerous sense of complacency about the U.S. stock market—where investors were emboldened after the 1998 downturn was followed by a resounding snapback. —Bernard Wysocki, Jr., Wall Street Journal, 3 Aug. 1999

  2. He spoke, however, with resignation, even complacency, rather than anguish. —Harriet Ritvo, The Platypus and The Mermaid, 1997

  3. … you say to yourself, “OK, why did it happen? Why did we make those bad engineering decisions we made in 1967 and 1986 with Challenger?” I'll tell you. It's the human element. And I suggest that there's a complacency there that comes from success. —Alan Shepard, Yankee, October 1991

  4. Tony Brace lived in Richmond, in circumstances of impeccable domestic content. Matthew and Susan had visited, in the early days of their marriage; driving home, they had mocked the décor and the connubial complacency. —Penelope Lively, City Of The Mind, 1991

  5. The public was lulled into complacency.

  6. <a momentary complacency that was quickly dispelled by the shock of cold reality>



Origin of complacency

(see complacent)


First Known Use: 1650



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