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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The Hamilton Common Pleas Court ruled that the streetcar company could not discriminate based on race or complexion. Carol Motsinger, Cincinnati.com, "These women have been written out of history books. This project is putting them back in," 10 June 2019 The man was described as Hispanic, mid-20s to mid-30s, 5-foot-5, 150 to 170 pounds, dark hair, medium to light complexion, wearing a white T-shirt and dark-colored pants or shorts. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago police issue alert about 3 sexual assaults in Lincoln Park," 6 June 2019 In a continent with crawling electrification rates, Wang says the phones are designed to reflect darker complexions at night or in environments with little light. Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa, "How Africa’s top handset maker designs phone cameras calibrated for darker skin tones," 3 June 2019 And any glowing complexion that comes along with that is a very welcome result. Sara King-abadi, SELF, "What I Wish I Knew About Skin Care Before Moving to the Mountains," 12 Apr. 2019 The complexion of the audience is also changing—slowly. The Economist, "An opera boom in the Gulf," 15 June 2019 Black rectangular reading glasses elegantly set off his pale complexion and top-to-bottom verticality: tall body (6-foot-6), tall nose, tall forehead. Devin Gordon, New York Times, "Meet the Money Whisperer to the Super-Rich N.B.A. Elite," 6 June 2019 In addition to exfoliating skin to reveal a brighter, complexion, the alpha hydroxy acid peel is packaged with a moisturizing mask that goes on as soon as the peel has dried on your face (about 30 seconds). Ashley Weatherford, The Cut, "Are You Exfoliating Your Face Wrong?," 11 July 2018 The actress, who’s opened up about her struggle with psoriasis and sensitive skin before, relies on Arm & Hammer Baking Soda to maintain her glowing complexion, too. Kaitlyn Frey, PEOPLE.com, "La La Anthony Says Kylie Jenner Has Motherhood 'Down Pat'," 11 May 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about complexion

Statistics for complexion

Last Updated

3 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for complexion

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on complexion

What made you want to look up complexion? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

providing supplementary assistance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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