complacency

noun
com·​pla·​cen·​cy | \ kəm-ˈplā-sᵊn(t)-sē How to pronounce complacency (audio) \
plural complacencies

Definition of complacency

1 : self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies When it comes to safety, complacency can be dangerous.
2 : an instance of usually unaware or uninformed self-satisfaction

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Examples of complacency in a Sentence

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 He spoke, however, with resignation, even complacency, rather than anguish. — Harriet Ritvo, The Platypus and The Mermaid, 1997 … 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 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 The public was lulled into complacency. a momentary complacency that was quickly dispelled by the shock of cold reality
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Recent Examples on the Web

The buzz: Dantonio’s biggest concern will be coming off a second bye in three weeks and the fear that complacency might set in with the big game in Ann Arbor a week ahead. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State football 2019 game-by-game predictions," 25 Aug. 2019 Grace recognizes that lazy complacency and manipulates it in order to survive. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Ready or Not Puts a Comic Twist on a Deadly Game of Hide-and-Seek," 22 Aug. 2019 The sheer horror watching that man's stone-faced complacency with the status quo to Billy's cries is one of the few in this film that isn't wracked with violence. Garrett Mitchell, azcentral, "'The Nightingale' is a disturbingly brutal meditation on revenge from 'Babadook' filmmaker," 21 Aug. 2019 Poor access to quality health care, displacement due to conflict, complacency and a lack of awareness also play big roles, according to WHO. Katie Hunt, CNN, "UK steps up fight after losing 'measles-free' status," 19 Aug. 2019 Outside Pleistocene Park, the modern world has responded to the warming Arctic with complacency. Katie Orlinsky, National Geographic, "Arctic permafrost is thawing fast. That affects us all.," 16 Aug. 2019 What the season resolutely lacked was the sort of cautious complacency that smothers so much of the classical world. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "Meredith Monk’s “ATLAS” and the L.A. Phil’s Extraordinary Season," 24 June 2019 That level of supremacy means complacency can creep in. 1843, "A league of their own: how English clubs conquered Europe," 7 June 2019 In Virginia, as in the nation, there could be little foundation for complacency about racial progress. Drew Gilpin Faust, The Atlantic, "Race, History, and Memories of a Virginia Girlhood," 18 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'complacency.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of complacency

1650, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for complacency

see complacent

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Statistics for complacency

Last Updated

7 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for complacency

The first known use of complacency was in 1650

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More Definitions for complacency

complacency

noun

English Language Learners 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

complacency

noun
com·​pla·​cen·​cy | \ kəm-ˈplā-sᵊn-sē How to pronounce complacency (audio) \

Kids Definition of complacency

: a feeling of being satisfied with the way things are and not wanting to make them better

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Comments on complacency

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