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

The school is taking action after the pizza chain's founder, John Schnatter, reportedly complained that Kentucky Fried Chicken's Colonel Sanders never faced a backlash for using a racial slur. Houston Chronicle, "Louisville football stadium removing Papa John's name," 13 July 2018 Gierl said, complaining that her neighborhood did not even show up on official maps of the outage released by the DWP. Javier Panzar, latimes.com, "Hundreds of customers are still without power as hot and angry Angelenos fume at the DWP," 10 July 2018 The hip-hop superstar took over the streaming service's playlists this weekend, leaving some customers complaining of advertisements on their ad-free accounts. Colin Stutz, Billboard, "Spotify Subscribers Demand Refunds Over Too Much Drake Promotion," 2 July 2018 After his lawyers complained about the two-hour drive to Northern Neck, Ellis agreed to relocate Manafort. Chris Megerian, Anchorage Daily News, "For Paul Manafort, an uncommonly comfortable life behind bars," 12 July 2018 Los Angeles Times Authorities voted to dissolve the troubled Sativa Los Angeles County Water District after customers in Compton and Willowbrook complained of foul drinking water. Shelby Grad, latimes.com, "Essential California: A big change at the University of California," 12 July 2018 Police were called to the stadium Saturday after female concession employees complained. Matt Campbell, kansascity, "Food worker at Kauffman Stadium charged with sexual abuse of teenage colleague," 11 July 2018 But one woman complained that those regulations could easily change with the current administration. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Not All Questions, Concerns Addressed At NTE Project Meeting," 2 July 2018 After residents complained at city meetings several years ago, Fournier and other officials requested that DTE Energy send someone to explain. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "History of power outages riles metro Detroiters, DTE promises fixes," 28 June 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

4 Nov 2018

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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