noun com·plaint \kəm-ˈplānt\

Definition of complaint

  1. 1 :  expression of grief, pain, or dissatisfaction <She did her chores without complaint.>

  2. 2a :  something that is the cause or subject of protest or outcry <Inefficiency was the main complaint against the local government.>b :  a bodily ailment or disease <The patient's complaint was frequent headaches.>

  3. 3 :  a formal allegation against a party <The complaint alleges sexual harassment.>

Examples of complaint in a sentence

  1. The board has received a number of complaints about the new policy.

  2. The company has a system to handle customer complaints.

  3. The lack of parking spaces is a common complaint among the city's residents.

  4. The lack of financial support is our biggest complaint.

  5. He is being treated for a stomach complaint.

  6. Shortness of breath was a common complaint among the patients.

Origin and Etymology of complaint

Middle English compleynte, from Anglo-French compleint, from compleindre —see complain

First Known Use: 14th century

COMPLAINT Defined for English Language Learners


noun com·plaint \kəm-ˈplānt\

Definition of complaint for English Language Learners

  • : a statement that you are unhappy or not satisfied with something

  • : the act of saying or writing that you are unhappy or dissatisfied with something

  • : something to be unhappy about : something that people complain about

COMPLAINT Defined for Kids


noun com·plaint \kəm-ˈplānt\

Definition of complaint for Students

  1. 1 :  expression of grief, pain, or discontent <He does his work without complaint.>

  2. 2 :  a cause or reason for expressing grief, pain, or discontent <The noise is my biggest complaint.>

  3. 3 :  a sickness or disease of the body <a stomach complaint>

  4. 4 :  a charge of wrongdoing against a person <What's her complaint against me?>

Medical Dictionary


noun com·plaint \kəm-ˈplānt\

Medical Definition of complaint

  1. :  a bodily ailment or disease <bloating and other digestive complaints—Christine Gorman>

Law Dictionary


noun com·plaint

Legal Definition of complaint

  1. 1 :  the initial pleading that starts a lawsuit and that sets forth the allegations made by the plaintiff against the defendant and the plaintiff's demand for relief — see also prayer, process, well-pleaded complaint rule — compare answer

  2. 2 :  a document sworn to by a victim or police officer that sets forth a criminal violation and that serves as the charging instrument by which charges are filed and judicial proceedings commenced against a defendant in a magistrate's court — compare declaration, indictment, information

  3. 3 :  petition

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