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 In all of these exploding-price scenarios, customers who think to call and complain or threaten to leave may be able to keep their promotional discounts. Rob Pegoraro, USA TODAY, 30 May 2021 Neighbors near the gatherings reported racing on narrow residential streets, burnouts and even threats to locals who’d go outside and complain. Los Angeles Times, 14 May 2021 Employees who aren’t comfortable may get distracted, complain and be in pain rather than focus on the work at hand. Damien Coughlan, Forbes, 13 May 2021 Democrats and advocates for minority groups complain of drastic erosions of protection against discrimination. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, 2 Mar. 2021 Both of these sets violated capacity and restrictions on dance events put in place by Florida officials, which some promoters complain have been loosely enforced, and drew criticism from the dance music community and beyond. Katie Bain, Billboard, 22 Feb. 2021 By my schedule barometer, the Dolphins and their fans don’t have much to complain about. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, 13 May 2021 Not long after, Ms. Catz called Donald F. McGahn II, then the White House counsel, to complain about Mr. McMaster’s behavior, according to two people familiar with the call. New York Times, 13 May 2021 Of course, anyone holding dogecoin for the past few months has little to complain about. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, 11 May 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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Statistics for complain

Last Updated

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Complain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/complain. Accessed 17 Jun. 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
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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com·​plain

Legal Definition of complain

: to make a complaint

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