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2017 Word of the Year

complaint

[kuh m-pleynt] /kəmˈpleɪnt/
noun
1.
an expression of discontent, regret, pain, censure, resentment, or grief; lament; faultfinding:
his complaint about poor schools.
2.
a cause of discontent, pain, grief, lamentation, etc.
3.
a cause of bodily pain or ailment; malady:
The doctor says I suffer from a rare complaint.
4.
Law. the first pleading of the plaintiff in a civil action, stating the cause of action.
Origin of complaint
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English compleynte < Middle French complainte < Latin com- com- + plancta plaint
Related forms
countercomplaint, noun
Synonyms
3. sickness, illness, ailment.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for complaint
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • No one has seen him shed a tear, of heard him utter a complaint.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • She made no complaint of him, and even spoke of him as generous.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • Such a course is frequent and would not give the right of complaint to anybody.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • There was a curious mixture of complaint and satisfaction in Dick's tone.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • The first comer utters his complaint of humiliation before him.

British Dictionary definitions for complaint

complaint

/kəmˈpleɪnt/
noun
1.
the act of complaining; an expression of grievance
2.
a cause for complaining; grievance
3.
a mild ailment
4.
(English law) a statement by which a civil proceeding in a magistrates' court is commenced
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for complaint
n.

late 14c., "lamentation, grief," from Old French complainte (12c.) "complaint, lament," noun use of fem. past participle of complaindre (see complain). Meaning "bodily ailment" is from 1705 (often in U.S. colloquial use generalized as complaints).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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15
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