complacency

play
noun com·pla·cen·cy \kəm-ˈplā-sən(t)-sē\

Definition of complacency

plural

complacencies

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

  2. 2 :  an instance of usually unaware or uninformed self-satisfaction

Examples of complacency in a Sentence

  1. 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

  2. He spoke, however, with resignation, even complacency, rather than anguish. —Harriet Ritvo, The Platypus and The Mermaid, 1997

  3. … 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

  4. 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

  5. The public was lulled into complacency.

  6. a momentary complacency that was quickly dispelled by the shock of cold reality

Recent Examples of complacency from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of complacency

see complacent


COMPLACENCY Defined for English Language Learners

complacency

play
noun

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

complacency

play
noun com·pla·cen·cy \kəm-ˈplā-sən-sē\

Definition of complacency for Students

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



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up complacency? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

sad or melancholy

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!