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