complain

[ kuhm-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

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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for complain

British Dictionary definitions for complain

complain

/ (kəmˈpleɪn) /

verb (intr)

to express resentment, displeasure, etc, esp habitually; grumble
(foll by of) to state the presence of pain, illness, etc, esp in the hope of sympathyshe complained of a headache

Derived Forms

complainer, nouncomplainingly, adverb

Word Origin for complain

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

Idioms and Phrases with complain

complain


see can't complain.

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