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 culture of complacency and tolerance in our industry needs to stop. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "'I'm Not Going to Let Him Intimidate Me Anymore.' Kate Upton Speaks Out on Alleged Harassment by Guess Co-Founder Paul Marciano," 7 Feb. 2018 An independent panel of experts said the department is insular, beset by complacency and a flawed safety culture. Ralph Vartabedian, latimes.com, "Department of Water Resources chief ousted after report blames Oroville dam crisis on lax safety culture," 11 Jan. 2018 But the lack of such a moment also can breed the complacency that Mr. Engel is showing. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A Bloody Month of Jihad," 17 Jan. 2019 After initially denying any complacency on its part, the social network admitted more than 126 million US users had viewed some form of Russian propaganda. Sean Keach, Fox News, "Facebook has trust ratings for users, but it won't tell you your score," 21 Aug. 2018 The unintended result of James arriving in the Western Conference could mean Steve Kerr just found a new tool to help battle his team’s expected complacency. SFChronicle.com, "If LeBron James goes to Lakers, he’ll battle Warriors for West — and California," 30 June 2018 There’s been no complacency in Roland’s campaign thinking that this thing was in the bag. Jasper Scherer, San Antonio Express-News, "Crowded races shapes up for Carlos Uresti’s Senate seat," 26 June 2018 Such questions evinced a presumption of my innate moral fiber — not to mention a complacency in the belief that any white Westerner was capable of starting an NGO, regardless of qualification or mission. Abigail Higgins, Vox, "How the “white-savior industrial complex” failed Liberia’s girls," 24 Oct. 2018 But Grodner seemed to understand that refusing complacency was what made the band significant. August Brown, latimes.com, "Joe Cardamone of the Icarus Line finds faith in music after a string of tragedies," 20 June 2018

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

20 Apr 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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not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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