complaint

noun

com·​plaint kəm-ˈplānt How to pronounce complaint (audio)
1
: expression of grief, pain, or dissatisfaction
She did her chores without complaint.
2
a
: 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.

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web While many expected fans to be annoyed at this, the backlash to the other changes in the patch has resulted in few complaints about the micro transactions. Mike Stubbs, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 According to the complaint, Simmons asked the accuser to visit his apartment in New York to approve a new video. Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Feb. 2024 Like several of his companions in Legacy Park, Richardson has some complaints about the treatment of homeless people by sheriff’s deputies. Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times, 13 Feb. 2024 In a complaint filed in October in Los Angeles federal court, Graham’s lawyers claimed that West’s post amounted to willful copyright infringement. Bill Donahue, Billboard, 13 Feb. 2024 One of the shelters in Long Island City, Queens, houses nearly 1,000 migrants, and the curfews began last month in response to neighborhood complaints, The Associated Press reported. Greg Norman, Fox News, 12 Feb. 2024 The concert, as is typical for the Grand Ole Opry, was broadcast live on 650 AM WSM, and the station reportedly received a number of complaints about King’s performance. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 12 Feb. 2024 According to the criminal complaint filed against Tony McClelland, the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office received a report at 5:41 a.m. June 25 of an unresponsive woman lying on Legend Lane. Tim Speier, Twin Cities, 11 Feb. 2024 After the pilot checked cockpit instruments and found readings to be normal, no further action was taken, the complaint says. Claire Rush, Fortune, 9 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'complaint.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near complaint

Cite this Entry

“Complaint.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/complaint. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

complaint

noun
com·​plaint kəm-ˈplānt How to pronounce complaint (audio)
1
: expression of grief, pain, or resentment
2
a
: a cause or reason for complaining
the noise was her biggest complaint
b
: a pain or sickness in the body
3
: a charge of illegal wrongdoing against a person

Medical Definition

complaint

noun
com·​plaint kəm-ˈplānt How to pronounce complaint (audio)
: a bodily ailment or disease
bloating and other digestive complaintsChristine Gorman

Legal Definition

complaint

noun
com·​plaint
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

More from Merriam-Webster on complaint

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