[kuh m-pley-suh nt, -zuh nt, kom-pluh-zant]
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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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for complaisant

Historical Examples of complaisant

British Dictionary definitions for complaisant


  1. showing a desire to comply or oblige; polite
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

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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper