complain

verb
com·​plain | \ kəm-ˈplān How to pronounce complain (audio) \
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 How to pronounce complain (audio) \ 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 Trump apologists would have something to complain about if the Justice Department had a ripe Hunter Biden case that should have been charged but held off to avoid influencing the election. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, 17 July 2021 Under normal viewing circumstances, there’s really very little to complain about. Maren Estrada, BGR, 12 July 2021 Later that afternoon the camp, run by the Sidwell Friends School, called to complain about her mask compliance. Ashley E. Mcguire, WSJ, 9 July 2021 To wit: His parents are less inclined than past tenants to complain about his stereo sound system. New York Times, 9 July 2021 Chelimo said he was clipped at least six times, and once took enough umbrage to complain about it during the race. Ken Goe For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 27 June 2021 Former manager Joe Maddon was the first to complain, citing the wear and tear on players returning from a Thursday night road game and playing on a Friday afternoon. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, 19 June 2021 The court ruled in a 7-2 decision that the plaintiffs had no standing to complain about a law imposing penalties on no one. Los Angeles Times, 18 June 2021 Time is something many of us complain about not having enough of. Jane Stoller, Forbes, 15 June 2021

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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Time Traveler for complain

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near complain

complacential

complain

complainant

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Statistics for complain

Last Updated

25 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Complain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/complain. Accessed 3 Aug. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce complain (audio) \
complained; complaining

Kids Definition of complain

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

Other Words from complain

complainer noun

complain

intransitive verb
com·​plain | \ kəm-ˈplān How to pronounce complain (audio) \

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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complain

intransitive verb
com·​plain

Legal Definition of complain

: to make a complaint

More from Merriam-Webster on complain

Nglish: Translation of complain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of complain for Arabic Speakers

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