: marked by self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies : marked by complacency : self-satisfied <a complacent smile>
— com·pla·cent·ly adverb
defined for English-language learners
Examples of COMPLACENT
- The strong economy has made people complacent.
- We have grown too complacent over the years.
- We can't afford to be complacent about illiteracy.
- … I gazed at my mother's poised, beautiful profile as her face turned from side to side, calm or complacent, accepting what the route offered. —Donald Hall, Atlantic, October 1996
- Mr. Davis organized his second great quintet in the mid-60's, but by then jazz had taken a new turn and many felt he had become passé, a complacent peacock. —Gary Giddins, New York Times Book Review, 15 Oct. 1989
- … he hopes to break through the reader's complacent indifference, make him aware of his predicament, and force him to take sides. —Monroe K. Spears, American Ambitions, 1987
- Lord Lathkill … was so completely unostentatious, so very willing to pay all the attention to me, and yet so subtly complacent, so unquestionably sure of his position. —D. H. Lawrence, The Complete Short Stories Volume III , (1922) 1981
Origin of COMPLACENT
Latin complacent-, complacens,
present participle of complacēre
to please greatly, from com-
to please — more at please
First Known Use: 1760
Related to COMPLACENT
- apathetic, casual, indifferent, disinterested, incurious, insensible, insouciant, nonchalant, perfunctory, pococurante, unconcerned, uncurious, uninterested
- concerned, interested
: feeling or showing satisfaction and lack of worry or caution <His team became complacent in the second half and lost the game.>
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