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complaint

[kuh m-pleynt] /kəmˈpleɪnt/
noun
1.
an expression of discontent, regret, pain, censure, resentment, or grief; lament; faultfinding:
his complaint about poor schools.
2.
a cause of discontent, pain, grief, lamentation, etc.
3.
a cause of bodily pain or ailment; malady:
The doctor says I suffer from a rare complaint.
4.
Law. the first pleading of the plaintiff in a civil action, stating the cause of action.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English compleynte < Middle French complainte < Latin com- com- + plancta plaint
Related forms
countercomplaint, noun
Synonyms
3. sickness, illness, ailment.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for counter complaint

complaint

/kəmˈpleɪnt/
noun
1.
the act of complaining; an expression of grievance
2.
a cause for complaining; grievance
3.
a mild ailment
4.
(English law) a statement by which a civil proceeding in a magistrates' court is commenced
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
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Word Origin and History for counter complaint

complaint

n.

late 14c., "lamentation, grief," from Old French complainte (12c.) "complaint, lament," noun use of fem. past participle of complaindre (see complain). Meaning "bodily ailment" is from 1705 (often in U.S. colloquial use generalized as complaints).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for counter complaint

complaint

in law, the plaintiff's initial pleading, corresponding to the libel in admiralty, the bill in equity, and the claim in civil law. The complaint, called in common law a declaration, consists of a title, a statement showing venue or jurisdiction, one or more counts containing a brief formal exposition of facts giving rise to the claim asserted, and a demand for relief. Thus, it informs the defendant of the plaintiff's claim and initiates the pretrial process of narrowing the case to one or more sharply defined issues of law or fact. In common law and under early procedural codes, the task of defining the issues was performed solely by the pleadings, but modern procedural systems have added pretrial conferences and deposition and discovery procedures for this purpose.

Learn more about complaint with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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