follow Dictionary.com

Yours, Etc.: Origins and Uses of 8 Sign-Offs

complain

[kuh m-pleyn] /kəmˈpleɪn/
verb (used without object)
1.
to express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault:
He complained constantly about the noise in the corridor.
2.
to tell of one's pains, ailments, etc.:
to complain of a backache.
3.
to make a formal accusation:
If you think you've been swindled, complain to the police.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English compleinen < Anglo-French compleign-, stem of compleindre, Old French complaindre < Vulgar Latin *complangere, equivalent to Latin com- com- + plangere to lament; see plaint
Related forms
complainable, adjective
complainer, noun
complainingly, adverb
uncomplained, adjective
uncomplaining, adjective
uncomplainingly, adverb
Synonyms
1. Complain, grumble, growl, whine are terms for expressing dissatisfaction or discomfort. To complain is to protest against or lament a wrong: to complain about high prices. To grumble is to utter ill-natured complaints half to oneself: to grumble about the service. Growl may express more anger than grumble : to growl in reply to a question. To whine is to complain in a meanspirited way, using a nasal tone: to whine like a coward, like a spoiled child.
Antonyms
1. rejoice.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for complain
  • Some people think wind turbines are ugly and complain about the noise the machines make.
  • At some point you start to think about your job-you don't make enough money, and you complain a lot.
  • He didn't complain, but only filled the room with his experience of wearing combat boots, and carrying a gun to work everyday.
  • New housing and business developments, locals complain, have led to an increase in light and noise pollution.
  • It's downright silly for you warm weather types to complain about walking.
  • She never seemed to complain but would favor one side more than the other.
  • Parliamentary observers complain that the fragmented legislature has made the country's politics more negative and short-term.
  • Applicants complain that the process of seeking help is made tiresome and humiliating.
  • Its diplomats complain of a few thousand gunmen holding up the whole peace process.
  • It relates to the returns the industry delivers: investors have more reason to complain about private equity than do voters.
British Dictionary definitions for complain

complain

/kəmˈpleɪn/
verb (intransitive)
1.
to express resentment, displeasure, etc, esp habitually; grumble
2.
(foll by of) to state the presence of pain, illness, etc, esp in the hope of sympathy: she complained of a headache
Derived Forms
complainer, noun
complainingly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Old French complaindre, from Vulgar Latin complangere (unattested), from Latin com- (intensive) + plangere to bewail
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for complain
v.

late 14c., "find fault, lament," from stem of Old French complaindre "to lament" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *complangere, originally "to beat the breast," from Latin com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + plangere "to strike, beat the breast" (see plague (n.)). Older sense of "lament" died out 17c. Related: Complained; complaining.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with complain

complain

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for complain

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for complain

14
19
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with complain