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 complainingly (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 Kids complain my hands always smell like peanut butter!!! Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, The New Yorker, "Many a Little Makes," 12 July 2020 But local health officials complain the effort has been beset with computer glitches, inadequate training and poor communication. USA TODAY, "Post-rally surge, PPE stocks, antibody study: News from around our 50 states," 11 July 2020 And even the Kremlin’s critics in the expert community now complain that U.S. intelligence about Russia has become completely detached from reality. Fred Weir, The Christian Science Monitor, "For Russian experts, Taliban bounty report just doesn’t make sense," 9 July 2020 Democrats complain that the Mexican leader is not meeting with former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive nominee to face Trump in November, or any Democratic congressional leaders. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "López Obrador heads to DC to court Trump, an immigrant basher he needs as Mexico’s economy flails," 8 July 2020 In this environment, helpers often complain about long hours, a lack of privacy, and uncomfortable sleeping arrangements. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "Imagine being forced to live with your boss. That's the case for nearly 400,000 women in Hong Kong," 9 July 2020 In Italy, residents of African ancestry and antidiscrimination activists complain the country is missing a golden opportunity to raise its awareness of the problems confronting minorities on its soil. Giovanni Legorano, WSJ, "Protests Against Racism Struggle to Gain Traction in Italy," 1 July 2020 Hundreds more people have been calling authorities to complain about the noise, which begin with a few pops in the afternoon, followed by louder bangs around dusk and then, after dark, big blasts that carry on well into the early morning. Michael Cabanatuan, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Area fireworks complaints grow by the hundreds as police search for answers on uptick," 24 June 2020 Democrats also complain the Republican measure does not increase police accountability. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "Parties at odds over police reform bill ahead of key vote," 22 June 2020

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

24 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Complain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/complain. Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for complain

complain

verb
How to pronounce complain (audio)

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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Comments on complain

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