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 his first months on the job, a parent complained about Mr. Weber’s conduct, said Sara Dye, then the top doctor at IHS’s South Dakota regional office. Gabe Johnson, WSJ, "A Pedophile Doctor Drew Suspicions for 21 Years. No One Stopped Him.," 8 Feb. 2019 Residents in Los Angeles have complained that Waze was redirecting traffic from the city's highways to residential areas en masse, sparking traffic pileups in neighborhoods. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "NYPD Wants Waze to Stop Warning People About DWI Traps," 7 Feb. 2019 Strangers are streaming in and out, commenting (or even complaining) about your choices of decor and poking their heads into your closets. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "The LAPD Has Caught The Man Who Posed As A Realtor To Rob Celeb Homes," 4 Jan. 2019 Some users have complained that their Pixel phones have been aggressively quitting background apps despite sporting 4GB of RAM. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Google offers Pixel 3XL users free Play Store credit, promises bug fixes 'in the coming weeks'," 6 Nov. 2018 For a populist policy agenda that isn’t all about being angry and yelling and screaming and complaining about things. Eric Johnson, Recode, "We have to rewrite antitrust law to deal with tech monopolies, says ‘Positive Populism’ author Steve Hilton," 24 Oct. 2018 And at the risk of coming off like a jerk for complaining about someone's mother's meatballs recipe, the much-vaunted orbs don't travel well. Mike Sula, Chicago Reader, "Food & Drink / Food Chain A sad state of the sandwich at Portage Park Italian deli Rosie's Sidekick," 9 July 2018 Kam Porter, her boyfriend, and her godchildren were enjoying the pool at her apartment complex on our nation’s birthday when the white community manager called the cops after complaining about Porter’s boyfriend’s attire. Paula Rogo, Essence.com, "Tennessee Woman Says She Was Racially Profiled At Apartment Pool On July 4," 8 July 2018 The Australian Open champion went out before the third round for the fourth time in seven years, losing 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 to Ekaterina Makarova of Russia after complaining to the chair umpire about the insects that invaded No. Mattias Karen, chicagotribune.com, "Roger Federer and Serena Williams cruise into 3rd round at Wimbledon," 4 July 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

11 Feb 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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