complexion

noun

com·​plex·​ion kəm-ˈplek-shən How to pronounce complexion (audio)
1
: the combination of the hot, cold, moist, and dry qualities held in medieval physiology to determine the quality of a body
2
a
: 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 branchTrevor Armbrister
complexional
kəm-ˈplek-shnəl How to pronounce complexion (audio)
-shə-nᵊl
adjective
complexioned adjective

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The shimmery hues of the moisturizing sticks lend themselves to a fresh, dewy-looking complexion that catches light like a dream. Annie Blackman, Allure, 15 July 2024 This face oil truly does the most for your complexion and that’s thanks to its cocktail of skin-loving ingredients, including retinol, vitamin C, cocoa butter, an exclusive Cetesomate-E Complex from Palmer’s, and 10 pure oils. Katie Decker-Jacoby, StyleCaster, 15 July 2024 Adept at making the skin shimmer, gleam, or take on a smooth-as-glass sheen, a good highlighter can revive a dull complexion or pep up a tired makeup look with single-swipe efficacy. Jenny Berg, Vogue, 12 July 2024 These sheets absorb the oil and remove grease, leaving my complexion refreshed, clean, and mattified. Rosie Marder, Travel + Leisure, 12 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for complexion 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'complexion.' 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 complexioun "(of substances, parts of the body, or persons) constitution or nature resulting from a combination of the four humors, healthy disposition, facial color taken as indicating the proportion of humors, (in general) constitution, nature," borrowed from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French complexion, complection "humor, combination of humors, physical constitution or nature, facial color" borrowed from Medieval Latin complexiōn-, complexiō "combination of humors or other elements, constitution, temperament," going back to Latin, "action of circling, combination, collection," from complector, complectī "to embrace, grasp, encompass, include" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at complex entry 2

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near complexion

Cite this Entry

“Complexion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/complexion. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

complexion

noun
com·​plex·​ion kəm-ˈplek-shən How to pronounce complexion (audio)
1
: the hue or appearance of the skin and especially of the face
has a dark complexion
2
: general appearance : character
information that changes the whole complexion of a situation
complexioned adjective

Medical Definition

complexion

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

More from Merriam-Webster on complexion

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!