com·​plai·​sance kəm-ˈplā-sᵊn(t)s How to pronounce complaisance (audio)
: disposition to please or comply : affability

Examples of complaisance in a Sentence

the complaisance of his girlfriend is such that she meekly goes along with everything he says
Recent Examples on the Web Yet electing to be private doesn’t amount to complaisance or complicity. Lesley M.m. Blume, Town & Country, 6 Dec. 2022 Sammy’s awareness of his mother’s infidelity, his father’s complaisance, and how both were relieved by his creative Boy Scout merit-badge projects and fantasies requires a separate article. Armond White, National Review, 16 Nov. 2022 What is lost is the look of complaisance that defines young founders looking for capital. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, 2 Mar. 2021 There are more emphatic reasons for the market’s complaisance. Jeff Sommer, New York Times, 12 Nov. 2016

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

Word History

First Known Use

1651, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of complaisance was in 1651

Dictionary Entries Near complaisance

Cite this Entry

“Complaisance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


com·​plai·​sance kəm-ˈplās-ᵊn(t)s How to pronounce complaisance (audio)
: a desire or willingness to please
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