complacent

adjective com·pla·cent \ kəm-ˈplā-sᵊnt \

Definition of complacent

1 :marked by self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies :marked by complacency :self-satisfied
  • a complacent smile
2 :complaisant 1
  • complacent flattery

complacently

adverb

Examples of complacent in a Sentence

  1. … I gazed at my mother's poised, beautiful profile as her face turned from side to side, calm or complacent, accepting what the route offered. —Donald HallAtlanticOctober 1996
  2. Mr. Davis organized his second great quintet in the mid-60's, but by then jazz had taken a new turn and many felt he had become passé, a complacent peacock. —Gary GiddinsNew York Times Book Review15 Oct. 1989
  3. … he hopes to break through the reader's complacent indifference, make him aware of his predicament, and force him to take sides. —Monroe K. SpearsAmerican Ambitions1987
  4. Lord Lathkill … was so completely unostentatious, so very willing to pay all the attention to me, and yet so subtly complacent, so unquestionably sure of his position. —D. H. LawrenceThe Complete Short Stories Volume III(1922) 1981
  5. The strong economy has made people complacent.

  6. We have grown too complacent over the years.

  7. We can't afford to be complacent about illiteracy.

Recent Examples of complacent from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of complacent

Latin complacent-, complacens, present participle of complacēre to please greatly, from com- + placēre to please — more at please


COMPLACENT Defined for English Language Learners

complacent

adjective

Definition of complacent for English Language Learners

  • : satisfied with how things are and not wanting to change them


COMPLACENT Defined for Kids

complacent

adjective com·pla·cent \ kəm-ˈplā-sᵊnt \

Definition of complacent for Students

:feeling or showing satisfaction and lack of worry or caution
  • His team became complacent in the second half and lost the game.


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