[ kuhm-pley-suhnt ]
See synonyms for complacent on
  1. pleased, especially with oneself or one's merits, advantages, situation, etc., often without awareness of some potential danger or defect; self-satisfied: The voters are too complacent to change the government.

  2. agreeable and eager to please.

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Origin of complacent

First recorded in 1650–60; from Latin complacent- (stem of complacēns, present participle of complacēre “to take the fancy of, please,” equivalent to com- “with, together, completely” (see com-) + placēre “to seem good” (see please)

Other words for complacent

Other words from complacent

  • com·pla·cent·ly, adverb
  • non·com·pla·cent, adjective
  • o·ver·com·pla·cent, adjective
  • un·com·pla·cent, adjective

Words that may be confused with complacent

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

How to use complacent in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for complacent


/ (kəmˈpleɪsənt) /

  1. pleased or satisfied, esp extremely self-satisfied

  2. an obsolete word for complaisant

Origin of complacent

C17: from Latin complacēns very pleasing, from complacēre to be most agreeable to, from com- (intensive) + placēre to please

Derived forms of complacent

  • complacently, adverb

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