com·​pla·​cence kəm-ˈplā-sᵊn(t)s How to pronounce complacence (audio)
: calm or secure satisfaction with oneself or one's lot : self-satisfaction
obsolete : complaisance

Examples of complacence in a Sentence

the complacence of some of the rich kids at the exclusive private school someone who displayed a startling complacence toward his own financial plight
Recent Examples on the Web But surely there must be a place for civil disobedience and protest that is sufficiently disruptive to rouse people from complacence. Yochai Benkler, Foreign Affairs, 4 Apr. 2012 The campaign used Ivancie’s complacence. oregonlive, 1 Feb. 2022 Overwhelming military strength encouraged complacence. T.h. Breen, The New York Review of Books, 2 Feb. 2023 The United States veered too far in the direction of complacence after the Cold War, discounting China and Russia’s competitive potential. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 25 July 2022 But the rise and fall of Japan's chipmakers suggests that leaders of the industry today have no room for complacence. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, 22 June 2021 His complacence is more nauseating than his weakness. Katherine Dunn, The New Yorker, 4 May 2020 There's been a lot of years of complacence from a lot of people who thought everything was OK but weren't really listening to what was going on and what wasn't OK. Gary Graff, Billboard, 4 Oct. 2019 That sort of complacence doesn't cut it with consumers in China, where the big three telecom providers are expected to roll out 5G networks in most major cities by the end of this year. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, 13 Sep. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'complacence.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of complacence was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near complacence

Cite this Entry

“Complacence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


com·​pla·​cence kəm-ˈplās-ᵊn(t)s How to pronounce complacence (audio)
: a calm or satisfied feeling about one's self : self-satisfaction
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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