or com·plec·tion

[kuh m-plek-shuh n]


the natural color, texture, and appearance of the skin, especially of the face: a clear, smooth, rosy complexion.
appearance; aspect; character: His confession put a different complexion on things.
viewpoint, attitude, or conviction: one's political complexion.
(in old physiology) constitution or nature of body and mind, regarded as the result of certain combined qualities.
Obsolete. nature; disposition; temperament.

Origin of complexion

1300–50; Middle English < Medieval Latin complexiōn- (stem of complexiō) constitution, temperament, Latin: combination, group, literally, the act of embracing. See complex, -ion
Related formscom·plex·ion·al, adjectivecom·plex·ion·al·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for complexion



the colour and general appearance of a person's skin, esp of the face
aspect, character, or naturethe general complexion of a nation's finances
  1. the temperament of a person
  2. the temperature and general appearance of the body
Derived Formscomplexional, adjective

Word Origin for complexion

C14: from medical Latin complexiō one's bodily characteristics, from Latin: a combination, from complectī to embrace; see complex
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 complexion

mid-14c., "bodily constitution," from Old French complexion, complession "combination of humors," hence "temperament, character, make-up," from Latin complexionem (nominative complexio) "combination" (in Late Latin, "physical constitution"), from complexus (see complex (adj.)). Meaning "appearance of the skin of the face" is first recorded mid-15c. In medieval physiology, the color of the face indicated temperament or health.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for complexion




The natural color, texture, and appearance of the skin, especially of the face.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.