- To complain is to express your dissatisfaction or to indicate that you have an illness.
- An example of complain is when you tell a restaurant they gave you poor service because your food was cold.
- An example of complain is when you say you have a headache.
A man complains about his food.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- to claim or express pain, displeasure, etc.
- to find fault; declare annoyance
- to make an accusation; bring a formal charge
Origin: Middle English compleinen ; from Old French complaindre ; from Vulgar Latin an unverified form complangere, origin, originally , to beat the breast ; from Classical Latin com-, intensive plush plangere, to strike: see plaint
- complainer noun
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
intransitive verb com·plained, com·plain·ing, com·plains
- To express feelings of pain, dissatisfaction, or resentment.
- To make a formal accusation or bring a formal charge.
Origin: Middle English compleinen, from Old French complaindre, complaign-, from Vulgar Latin *complangere : Latin com-, intensive pref.; see com- + Latin plangere, to lament; see plāk-2 in Indo-European roots.
- com·plainˈer noun