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 Business owners complain of worker shortages and some have suggested that federal benefits are keeping workers on the sidelines. NBC News, "U.S. economy grew at 6.4 percent annual rate in first quarter as consumer spending drives robust recovery," 29 Apr. 2021 Under Biden, the Labor Department has moved to strengthen workplace guidance for the virus and sought to increase enforcement action against employers who retaliate after workers complain about unsafe conditions. Washington Post, "Biden administration faces heat from Democrats over delay issuing workplace safety standard," 28 Apr. 2021 Many will question whether the late Chadwick Boseman should’ve won Best Actor for his splendid performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom - - but few can complain about the Academy awarding Anthony Hopkins the prize for his work in The Father. Tom Nunan, Forbes, "Despite Terrible Ratings, 2021 Oscars Claim One Important Victory," 26 Apr. 2021 And much of the material that critics complain about on Roblox is already banned. Stephen Gandel, CBS News, "Roblox devising ratings system to address sexual content on youth gaming platform," 20 Apr. 2021 Marie Figueroa, a doctor of physical therapy at Massachusetts General Hospital in Waltham, said many recent patients complain of pain that came out of nowhere. BostonGlobe.com, "Long-term remote work is sending many of us from the home office to the physical therapy clinic," 15 Apr. 2021 Cruz noted that Georgia provides two more days of early voting than Colorado, though the law includes a number of provisions that Democrats complain were aimed at curbing access by their supporters. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "Ted Cruz wants to punish MLB with antitrust scrutiny after baseball pulls All-Star Game from Georgia," 13 Apr. 2021 The main thing most young Latter-day Saints singles (18-30) complain about is being treated like children, said Rosemary Card, a Salt Lake City entrepreneur and writer. The Salt Lake Tribune, "They make up most of the adult LDS membership. So why do they feel like outsiders? Because they’re single.," 10 Apr. 2021 One thing to consider is that the platform doesn’t offer great native voice functionality, and users often complain about poor quality on calls. Michelle Accardi, Forbes, "Six Tips For A Smooth Collaboration Migration," 8 Apr. 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

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Complain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/complain. Accessed 10 May. 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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Comments on complain

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