complain

verb com·plain \ kəm-ˈplān \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

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.

complainer

noun

complainingly

play \kəm-ˈplā-niŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of complain in a Sentence

  1. He works hard but he never complains.

  2. If you're unhappy with the service, you should complain to the manager.

  3. The students complained that the test was too hard.

  4. “These shoes are too tight,” he complained.

Recent Examples of complain from the Web

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.

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

complain Synonyms



COMPLAIN Defined for English Language Learners

complain

verb

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

complain

verb com·plain \ kəm-ˈplān \

Definition of complain for Students

complained; complaining
: to express grief, pain, or discontent : find fault

complainer

noun

Medical Dictionary

complain

intransitive verb 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

Law Dictionary

complain

intransitive verb com·plain

legal Definition of complain

: to make a complaint


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