complain

verb
com·​plain | \ kəm-ˈplān \
complained; complaining; complains

Definition of complain

intransitive verb

1 : to express grief, pain, or discontent complaining about the weather
2 : to make a formal accusation or charge He threatened to complain of him to the captain.

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Other Words from complain

complainer noun
complainingly \ kəm-​ˈplā-​niŋ-​lē \ adverb

Examples of complain in a Sentence

He works hard but he never complains. If you're unhappy with the service, you should complain to the manager. The students complained that the test was too hard. “These shoes are too tight,” he complained.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In May 2016, after having received a letter from the company complaining about the VA’s acquisition process, Sen. Isakson asked the Senate VA committee staff to follow up. Charley Grant, WSJ, "Sen. Johnny Isakson Called FBI on Behalf of MiMedx Group," 27 Dec. 2018 Russia has been a key supporter of Assad and complained about militants in Idlib targeting its own facilities. Ken Thomas, The Seattle Times, "White House warns Syria against chemical weapons use," 4 Sep. 2018 Meadows said, complaining that a U.S. Marshal had to deliver Page the subpoena early in the morning. Karoun Demirjian, Washington Post, "Embattled FBI agent to appear before Congress," 12 July 2018 Tom, a growing girl, complains of hunger, and Will suffers from night terrors. J.r. Jones, Chicago Reader, "Leave No Trace approaches homelessness on the most intimate terms," 11 July 2018 After she was written up for being too loud, D’Onofrio sent a letter to Costco’s CEO complaining about the treatment, the suit says. Ron Hurtibise, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Deaf ex-employee wins $775,000 in discrimination case against Pompano Beach Costco," 10 July 2018 Some conservative activists in recent days had launched a campaign against Kavanaugh, complaining about his past ties to the George W. Bush administration and previous rulings that were not hard-line enough for their taste. David G. Savage, latimes.com, "Brett Kavanaugh, a Washington veteran, is Trump's second pick for the Supreme Court," 10 July 2018 One of Weeks’ pet peeves is when people complain about state fish and game rules, but don’t participate in the Spring Fish and Wildlife Public Hearings held by the Wisconsin Conservation Congress. Anna Groves, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin’s Musky Whisperer spills his secret: Thinking like a scientist," 3 July 2018 Angel Jara said, complaining about their tardiness to work, their performance on the job and their attitude. Jonathan Kauffman, SFChronicle.com, "La Taqueria workers’ risky complaints over unpaid overtime, health care bring reforms," 30 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'complain.' 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 complain

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for complain

Middle English compleynen, from Anglo-French compleindre, from Vulgar Latin *complangere, from Latin com- + plangere to lament — more at plaint

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Statistics for complain

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for complain

The first known use of complain was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for complain

complain

verb

English Language Learners Definition of complain

: to say or write that you are unhappy, sick, uncomfortable, etc., or that you do not like something

: to say (something that expresses annoyance or unhappiness)

complain

verb
com·​plain | \ kəm-ˈplān \
complained; complaining

Kids Definition of complain

: to express grief, pain, or discontent : find fault

Other Words from complain

complainer noun
com·​plain | \ kəm-ˈplān \

Medical Definition of complain

: to speak of one's illness or symptoms the patient visited the office complaining of weight loss

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com·​plain

Legal Definition of complain

: to make a complaint

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More from Merriam-Webster on complain

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for complain

Spanish Central: Translation of complain

Nglish: Translation of complain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of complain for Arabic Speakers

Comments on complain

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