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Word of the Day
Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Definitions for complaisant

  1. inclined or disposed to please; obliging; agreeable or gracious; compliant: the most complaisant child I've ever met.

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Citations for complaisant
... Emma was obliged, in common honesty, to stop and admit that her own behaviour to him had been so complaisant and obliging, so full of courtesy and attention, as (supposing her real motive unperceived) might warrant a man of ordinary observation and delicacy, like Mr. Elton, in fancying himself a very decided favorite. Jane Austen, Emma, 1815
In its flexibility, its complaisant wish to go both ways, the word loses its independence and leaches away most of its efficacy. Brad Leithauser, "Unusable Words," The New Yorker, October 14, 2013
Origin of complaisant
Complaisant can be traced to the Latin verb complacēre meaning "to please." It entered English in the mid-1600s.