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
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
Origin and Etymology of complacency
First Known Use: 1650
COMPLACENCY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of complacency for English Language Learners
: a feeling of being satisfied with how things are and not wanting to try to make them better : a complacent feeling or condition
COMPLACENCY Defined for Kids
Definition of complacency for Students
: a feeling of being satisfied with the way things are and not wanting to make them better
Seen and Heard
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