complaint

noun
com·​plaint | \ kəm-ˈplānt How to pronounce complaint (audio) \

Definition of complaint

1 : expression of grief, pain, or dissatisfaction She did her chores without complaint.
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 : a formal allegation against a party The complaint alleges sexual harassment.

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Examples of complaint in a Sentence

The board has received a number of complaints about the new policy. The company has a system to handle customer complaints. The lack of parking spaces is a common complaint among the city's residents. The lack of financial support is our biggest complaint. He is being treated for a stomach complaint. Shortness of breath was a common complaint among the patients.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Ledbetter was denied her millions of dollars in back pay because (at the time) the law stated that an employee must file a complaint within 180 days of their first unlawful paycheck. Emily Farra, Vogue, "21 Reasons to Wear Red for Equal Pay Day," 2 Apr. 2019 Singer often advised parents to apply for extra time to take the tests by faking a learning disability for their child, according to the complaint. Tyler Kingkade, Town & Country, "How the College Admissions Scandal Is Different From the Other Ways Rich Parents Help Their Kids Get Into School," 13 Mar. 2019 In August, Hydrox filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission accusing Oreo (and its parent company, Mondelez) of trying to put them out of business by intentionally hiding their products in grocery stores. Rachel Sugar, Vox, "2018 was a difficult year for cookies," 21 Dec. 2018 In April, privacy groups filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission saying that Facebook had turned on new face-matching services without obtaining appropriate permission of users. New York Times, "Microsoft Urges Congress to Regulate Use of Facial Recognition," 13 July 2018 Edwardsville Pierogi Festival has been held since 2014 in Edwardsville, a borough of less than 5,000 people, according to the complaint. Becky Jacobs, Post-Tribune, "Whiting's Pierogi Fest settles with East Coast event in trademark dispute," 13 July 2018 Coach 1 said, according to the FBI complaint, given Louisville's NCAA infractions case relating to the previous escort scandal. Gentry Estes, The Courier-Journal, "Former Louisville assistant coach Jordan Fair is back coaching in AAU," 12 July 2018 According to an advisory issued by the health board last Friday, 39 people have filed complaints with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Sophia Eppolito, BostonGlobe.com, "North Reading restaurant closes after salmonella outbreak sickens up to 39 people," 10 July 2018 An ethics complaint also claimed that O'Rourke's company, Stanton Street, had provided services to the group. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Why Beto O'Rourke's Wife, Amy O'Rourke, Will Be Central to His Presidential Campaign," 15 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'complaint.' 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 complaint

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for complaint

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

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Statistics for complaint

Last Updated

10 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for complaint

The first known use of complaint was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for complaint

complaint

noun

English Language Learners Definition of complaint

: 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

noun
com·​plaint | \ kəm-ˈplānt How to pronounce complaint (audio) \

Kids Definition of complaint

1 : expression of grief, pain, or discontent He does his work without complaint.
2 : a cause or reason for expressing grief, pain, or discontent The noise is my biggest complaint.
3 : a sickness or disease of the body a stomach complaint
4 : a charge of wrongdoing against a person What's her complaint against me?

complaint

noun
com·​plaint | \ kəm-ˈplānt How to pronounce complaint (audio) \

Medical Definition of complaint

: a bodily ailment or disease bloating and other digestive complaints— Christine Gorman

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complaint

noun
com·​plaint

Legal Definition of complaint

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 : 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 : petition

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Comments on complaint

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