complaint

noun
com·​plaint | \ kəm-ˈplānt \

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

What if the brand that produces domestically is led by a C.E.O. with #metoo complaints? Maya Singer, Vogue, "Is There Really Such a Thing as “Ethical Consumerism?”," 4 Feb. 2019 The outlet notes that Targum was allegedly let go after a complaint was made to CBS’s human resources department. Megan Stein, Country Living, "An 'NCIS: New Orleans' Executive Producer Was Fired From the Show," 3 Feb. 2019 Parents' complaints would fall on deaf ears at the social media giant, forcing them to go through agencies like the Better Business Bureau or even inferring pricey chargeback fees from credit card companies to get some of their money back. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Documents Show Facebook Knowingly Took Money from Unwitting Children," 25 Jan. 2019 The federal government has brought complaints to light as well. Elaine Murphy, Teen Vogue, "What Really Happens Inside American Immigration Facilities and Detention Centers," 14 Jan. 2019 According to a synopsis on TVGuide, Joe teams up with Mike’s buddy Chuck (Jonathan Adams) to file a complaint against their boss. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Jay Leno's Controversial 'Last Man Standing' Character Is Coming Back," 7 Dec. 2018 Lambert had sent video evidence of the harassment to his supervisors, and filed a legal complaint against Tesla for not taking action. Makena Kelly, The Verge, "Black Tesla factory workers describe racism and discrimination, NYT reports," 30 Nov. 2018 In 2014 Amanda Thomashow filed a Title IX complaint, but no wrongdoing was found. Jason Schmidt, Glamour, "The Army of Women Who Took Down Larry Nassar," 30 Oct. 2018 The state's attorney general last year filed a civil complaint with the board. Chicago Tribune, chicagotribune.com, "Indiana collected less corporate taxes in fiscal year 2018," 13 July 2018

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

13 Feb 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 \

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 \

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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