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complain

[kuh m-pleyn]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault: He complained constantly about the noise in the corridor.
  2. to tell of one's pains, ailments, etc.: to complain of a backache.
  3. to make a formal accusation: If you think you've been swindled, complain to the police.
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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 formscom·plain·a·ble, adjectivecom·plain·er, nouncom·plain·ing·ly, adverbun·com·plained, adjectiveun·com·plain·ing, adjectiveun·com·plain·ing·ly, adverb

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.

Antonyms

1. rejoice.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for complainer

Historical Examples

  • It is for the complainer's relief, not for God's information.

    The Expositor's Bible: The Psalms, Volume III

    Alexander Maclaren

  • Although Achan was the only offender, he was probably far from being the only complainer on that occasion.

  • 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

  • Chamillart searched for the document, found it, and saw that the complainer was right.

  • "Together we make sweetest harmony," returned the bell next the complainer.

    Allegories of Life

    Mrs. J. S. Adams


British Dictionary definitions for complainer

complain

verb (intr)
  1. to express resentment, displeasure, etc, esp habitually; grumble
  2. (foll by of) to state the presence of pain, illness, etc, esp in the hope of sympathyshe complained of a headache
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Derived Formscomplainer, nouncomplainingly, adverb

Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for complainer

complain

v.

late 14c., "find fault, lament," from stem of Old French complaindre "to lament" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *complangere, originally "to beat the breast," from Latin com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + plangere "to strike, beat the breast" (see plague (n.)). Older sense of "lament" died out 17c. Related: Complained; complaining.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with complainer

complain

see can't complain.

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