complexion

noun
com·​plex·​ion | \ kəm-ˈplek-shən How to pronounce complexion (audio) \

Definition of complexion

1 : the combination of the hot, cold, moist, and dry qualities held in medieval physiology to determine the quality of a body
2a : an individual complex of ways of thinking or feeling
b : a complex of attitudes and inclinations
3 : the hue or appearance of the skin and especially of the face a dark complexion
4 : overall aspect or character by changing the complexion of the legislative branch— Trevor Armbrister

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Other Words from complexion

complexional \ kəm-​ˈplek-​shnəl How to pronounce complexional (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
complexioned \ kəm-​ˈplek-​shənd How to pronounce complexioned (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for complexion

Synonyms

color, coloring

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Examples of complexion in a Sentence

She has a dark complexion. All of the children had healthy complexions. The complexion of the neighborhood has changed over the years.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The disparity in the responses to red states and blue states continues to exacerbate the nation’s partisan complexion, injected now even into natural disasters. Matt Viser, The Seattle Times, "Trump blames California for natural disaster, adding to denunciations of strongly Democratic state," 13 Nov. 2018 True, Kaiser Wilhelm had neither platinum hair nor a basketball-colored complexion, but much work and wax clearly went into the rigid upward curl of his mustache. Joseph Epstein, WSJ, "The Curious Parallels Between Trump and Kaiser Wilhelm II," 22 Oct. 2018 The sexism is less than subtle in Braniff’s recruiting ads (which was representative of the industry at that time): Age, height, weight, complexion, grooming, and physical attractiveness were unapologetically part of the evaluation. Michael Magers, Condé Nast Traveler, "Inside the Sisterhood of Braniff Flight Attendants," 31 Aug. 2018 Oil-Free Moisturizer To buy: $49 with code (originally $65); katesomerville.com Sensitive, combination complexion? Kathleen Mulpeter, Health.com, "Kate Somerville Is Having a HUGE Sale Right Now—Here's What We're Buying," 27 Apr. 2018 Men and women with dark complexions and shorter dark hair can also work in this role. Mary Caldwell, ajc, "Now casting: Major TV series seeking zombies," 8 June 2018 The soft pink shade would look great on those with fairer complexions, without washing them out. Lindsay Peoples, The Cut, "What Everlane’s New Wrap Dress Looks Like on 6 Different Women," 15 May 2018 Without makeup, hair, or eyebrows, the two present blank-slate, babyish complexions. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Watch Fecal Matter’s Extreme, 3-Hour Beauty Routine in 7 Minutes," 28 Mar. 2019 Victory on Saturday would alter the complexion and appease the current grumblings confronting Messi and co. Sevilla's previous outings make for rather bleaker reading from their perspective. SI.com, "Barcelona vs Sevilla Preview: Recent Form, Team News, Key Battle, Prediction & More," 20 Apr. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for complexion

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin complexion-, complexio, from Latin, combination, from complecti

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Statistics for complexion

Last Updated

8 May 2019

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Time Traveler for complexion

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

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More Definitions for complexion

complexion

noun

English Language Learners Definition of complexion

: the color or appearance of the skin especially on the face
: the general appearance or character of something

complexion

noun
com·​plex·​ion | \ kəm-ˈplek-shən How to pronounce complexion (audio) \

Kids Definition of complexion

: the color or appearance of the skin and especially of the face a fair complexion

complexion

noun
com·​plex·​ion | \ kəm-ˈplek-shən How to pronounce complexion (audio) \

Medical Definition of complexion

1 : the combination of the hot, cold, moist, and dry qualities held in medieval physiology to determine the quality of a body
2 : the hue or appearance of the skin and especially of the face a dark complexion

Other Words from complexion

complexioned \ -​shənd How to pronounce complexioned (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on complexion

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