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complaisant

[kuh m-pley-suh nt, -zuh nt, kom-pluh-zant]
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adjective
  1. inclined or disposed to please; obliging; agreeable or gracious; compliant: the most complaisant child I've ever met.
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Origin of complaisant

1640–50; < French (present participle of complaire) < Latin complacent- (stem of complacēns, present participle of complacēre; see complacent)
Related formscom·plai·sant·ly, adverbnon·com·plai·sant, adjectivenon·com·plai·sant·ly, adverbun·com·plai·sant, adjectiveun·com·plai·sant·ly, adverb
Can be confusedcomplacent complaisant compliant
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for complaisant

accommodating, amiable, compliant, conciliatory, deferential, easy, friendly, generous, good-humored, good-natured, indulgent, lenient, mild, obliging, polite, solicitous, submissive, good-tempered, easy-going

Examples from the Web for complaisant

Historical Examples of complaisant

  • And loves me just enough to advise me to be complaisant to a man I despise.

    A Comedy of Marriage and Other Tales

    Guy De Maupassant

  • He could even, when so disposed, become gentle and complaisant.

  • But she who had murmured as a wife was not complaisant as a mistress.

    Paul Clifford, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Even the most complaisant women like at least the appearance of a siege.

    A Little Journey in the World

    Charles Dudley Warner

  • Probably of the complaisant model who ventures into Lochias at night?


British Dictionary definitions for complaisant

complaisant

adjective
  1. showing a desire to comply or oblige; polite
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Derived Formscomplaisantly, adverb

Word Origin for complaisant

C17: from French complaire, from Latin complacēre to please greatly; compare complacent
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 complaisant

adj.

1640s, from French complaisant (16c.), in Middle French, "pleasing," present participle of complaire "acquiesce to please," from Latin complacere "be very pleasing" (see complacent, with which it overlapped till mid-19c.). Possibly influenced in French by Old French plaire "gratify."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper