• synonyms


[kuh m-pley-suh n-see]
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noun, plural com·pla·cen·cies.
  1. a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.
  2. Archaic.
    1. friendly civility; inclination to please; complaisance.
    2. a civil act.
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Also com·pla·cence [kuh m-pley-suh ns] /kəmˈpleɪ səns/.

Origin of complacency

From the Medieval Latin word complacentia, dating back to 1635–45. See complacent, -cy
Related formsnon·com·pla·cence, nounnon·com·pla·cen·cy, noun, plural non·com·pla·cen·cies.o·ver·com·pla·cence, nouno·ver·com·pla·cen·cy, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for complacence

arrogance, narcissism, self-love, swagger, complacency, vainglory, self-regard, pomposity, consequence, pride, vanity, smugness, stuffiness, complacence, immodesty, amour-propre, vainness, self-admiration, self-conceit, snottiness

Examples from the Web for complacence

Contemporary Examples of complacence

Historical Examples of complacence

British Dictionary definitions for complacence



noun plural -cencies or -cences
  1. a feeling of satisfaction, esp extreme self-satisfaction; smugness
  2. an obsolete word for complaisance
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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

Word Origin and History for complacence


mid-15c., "pleasure," from Medieval Latin complacentia "satisfaction, pleasure," from Latin complacentem (nominative complacens), present participle of complacere "to be very pleasing," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + placere "to please" (see please). Sense of "pleased with oneself" is 18c.

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1640s, from same source as complacence but with the later form of the suffix (see -cy).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper