[ kuhm-pley-suhn-see ]
See synonyms for complacency on
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.

    • friendly civility; inclination to please; complaisance.

    • a civil act.

Origin of complacency

From the Medieval Latin word complacentia, dating back to 1635–45. See complacent, -cy
  • Also com·pla·cence [kuhm-pley-suhns]. /kəmˈpleɪ səns/.

Other words from complacency

  • non·com·pla·cence, noun
  • non·com·pla·cen·cy, noun, plural non·com·pla·cen·cies.
  • o·ver·com·pla·cence, noun
  • o·ver·com·pla·cen·cy, noun

Words Nearby complacency Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use complacency in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for complacency



/ (kəmˈpleɪsənsɪ) /

nounplural -cencies or -cences
  1. a feeling of satisfaction, esp extreme self-satisfaction; smugness

  2. an obsolete word for complaisance

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