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complaisance

[kuh m-pley-suh ns, -zuh ns, kom-pluh-zans]
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noun
  1. the quality of being complaisant.
  2. a complaisant act.
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Origin of complaisance

From French, dating back to 1645–55; see origin at complaisant, -ance
Related formsnon·com·plai·sance, nounun·com·plai·sance, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for complaisance

Historical Examples

  • But they have the complaisance to each other to pardon this gasconading.

    The History of Louisiana

    Le Page Du Pratz

  • This complaisance did not raise him in estimation at Vienna or elsewhere.

  • “Your complaisance does credit to your good nature, sir,” exclaimed the old man.

    The Strollers

    Frederic S. Isham

  • Your Court physician can carry his complaisance even to poison.

    The Fortunes Of Glencore

    Charles James Lever

  • But how shall I convince you that I am actuated by love and not by complaisance?

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt


British Dictionary definitions for complaisance

complaisance

noun
  1. deference to the wishes of others; willing compliance
  2. an act of willing compliance
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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 complaisance

n.

1650s, from French complaisance (14c.), in Middle French "care or desire to please," from Medieval Latin complacentia (see complacence).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper