Definition of complain
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.
complaininglyplay \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.
Recent Examples of complain from the Web
Republicans complained bitterly about the Obama administration’s lack of responsiveness at times, and the battles over transparency escalated as the GOP gained power in Congress.
Managers complained that there is little to no information about the status of their open positions.
The same person called again about seven minutes later and complained about payout policies at the slot machines.
The majority of the people who complained — 94 percent — said they were victimized by derogatory, rude or discriminatory comments from a border or immigration officer, while 27 percent reported physical force was used against them.
Copts have long complained of discrimination in the Muslim-majority nation and have accused authorities of failing to protect them against extremist violence.
Less than a year ago, a small group of neighbors who live near Skokie park complained about conditions there and asked the Skokie Park District to upgrade the space.
Since then, Smith has complained about the overgrown grass and tattered flag, but nothing has changed.
Players, including Murray and Roger Federer, and antidoping experts have complained about a lack of in-tournament testing and called for more surprise tests away from competition.
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.
Origin and Etymology of complain
Middle English compleynen, from Anglo-French compleindre, from Vulgar Latin *complangere, from Latin com- + plangere to lament — more at plaint
First Known Use: 14th century
COMPLAIN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of complain for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of complain for Students
: to express grief, pain, or discontent : find fault
Medical Definition of complain
: to speak of one's illness or symptoms the patient visited the office complaining of weight loss
Legal Definition of complain
: to make a complaint
Seen and Heard
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