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[kuh m-pleyn] /kəmˈpleɪn/
verb (used without object)
to express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault:
He complained constantly about the noise in the corridor.
to tell of one's pains, ailments, etc.:
to complain of a backache.
to make a formal accusation:
If you think you've been swindled, complain to the police.
Origin of complain
1350-1400; Middle English compleinen < Anglo-French compleign-, stem of compleindre, Old French complaindre < Vulgar Latin *complangere, equivalent to Latin com- com- + plangere to lament; see plaint
Related forms
complainable, adjective
complainer, noun
complainingly, adverb
uncomplained, adjective
uncomplaining, adjective
uncomplainingly, adverb
1. rejoice.
Synonym Study
1. Complain, grumble, growl, whine are terms for expressing dissatisfaction or discomfort. To complain is to protest against or lament a wrong: to complain about high prices. To grumble is to utter ill-natured complaints half to oneself: to grumble about the service. Growl may express more anger than grumble: to growl in reply to a question. To whine is to complain in a meanspirited way, using a nasal tone: to whine like a coward, like a spoiled child. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for uncomplaining
Historical Examples
  • She was deeply wounded and silent, uncomplaining; she seemed to be dying hourly.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • Yet she was, as the doctor had said, calm and uncomplaining.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Thorpe gave her the mystified yet uncomplaining glance she knew so well in his eyes.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • Eliot is all about This place, with his most uncomplaining brow.

    Browning's England Helen Archibald Clarke
  • His air was so gay, so uncomplaining, that it was hard to believe it came from him.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • He was very brave and uncomplaining in suffering, but also very sensitive and emotional.

    Memoirs Charles Godfrey Leland
  • Think of all the Kitty Killigrews you've poured into my uncomplaining ears!

    The Lure of the Mask Harold MacGrath
  • Fearless, uncomplaining, she “trusted in God and made no haste.”

    Daily Thoughts Charles Kingsley
  • The Emperor set his men an example of uncomplaining cheerfulness.

    The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte William Milligan Sloane
  • Patience, uncomplaining endurance, never yet stole the garments of joy.


    Augusta Jane Evans Wilson
British Dictionary definitions for uncomplaining


not complaining or resentful; resigned


verb (intransitive)
to express resentment, displeasure, etc, esp habitually; grumble
(foll by of) to state the presence of pain, illness, etc, esp in the hope of sympathy: she complained of a headache
Derived Forms
complainer, noun
complainingly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Old French complaindre, from Vulgar Latin complangere (unattested), from Latin com- (intensive) + plangere to bewail
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 uncomplaining



late 14c., "find fault, lament," from stem of Old French complaindre "to lament" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *complangere, originally "to beat the breast," from Latin com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + plangere "to strike, beat the breast" (see plague (n.)). Older sense of "lament" died out 17c. Related: Complained; complaining.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with uncomplaining


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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