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.
- com·plain·a·ble, adjective
- com·plain·er, noun
- com·plain·ing·ly, adverb
- un·com·plained, adjective
- un·com·plain·ing, adjective
- un·com·plain·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use complain in a sentence
Four residents had died, the county mayor called the home’s response inadequate, families complained about a lack of information, and the state and county stepped in, helping to coordinate the evacuation of patients to the hospital.As pandemic raged and thousands died, government regulators cleared most nursing homes of infection-control violations | Debbie Cenziper, Joel Jacobs, Shawn Mulcahy | October 29, 2020 | Washington Post
She listened as they complained that masks didn’t work or the death rate was exaggerated.‘There’s no help coming before the election’: Indiana’s RV capital faces its worst coronavirus outbreak alone | Todd Frankel | October 29, 2020 | Washington Post
“That could definitely impact my ability to get reelected,” he complained in complete seriousness about the tweet.4 key moments from the Senate’s showdown with Big Tech CEOs | Danielle Abril | October 28, 2020 | Fortune
It also claims that Doe faced retaliation after he complained about facing a hostile work environment.India’s engineers have thrived in Silicon Valley. So has its caste system. | Nitasha Tiku | October 28, 2020 | Washington Post
Small-business owners will complain these increases could put them out of business just as they are trying to recover.We need a G.I. Bill for frontline workers, the heroes of COVID-19 | matthewheimer | October 27, 2020 | Fortune
Although Achan was the only offender, he was probably far from being the only complainer on that occasion.The Expositor's Bible: The Book of Joshua | William Garden Blaikie
I heard the miserable little complainer unmoved as long as I could; after a while, putting down my book, I went into the nursery.Rutledge | Miriam Coles Harris
I see that you think you have effectually disposed of all complaint by challenging the complainer to suggest a remedy.The Potiphar Papers | George William Curtis
It is for the complainer's relief, not for God's information.The Expositor's Bible: The Psalms, Volume III | Alexander Maclaren
"Together we make sweetest harmony," returned the bell next the complainer.Allegories of Life | Mrs. J. S. Adams
British Dictionary definitions for complain
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
- complainer, noun
- complainingly, 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
Other Idioms and Phrases with 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.