Definitions for complainkəmˈpleɪn

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word complain

Random House Webster's College Dictionary


  1. to express dissatisfaction, resentment, pain, grief, etc.; find fault.

  2. to make a formal accusation:

    You must complain to the police about this vandalism.

* Syn: complain , grumble , whine are terms for expressing dissatisfaction or discomfort. To complain is to protest against or lament a condition or wrong: to complain about high prices. To grumble is to utter surly, ill-natured complaints half to oneself: to grumble about the service. To whine is to complain in a meanspirited, objectionable way, using a nasal tone; it often suggests persistence: to whine like a spoiled child.

Origin of complain:

1350–1400; ME compleinen < AF compleign-, s. of compleindre, OF complaindre < VL *complangere= L com-com - +plangere to lament; see plaint


Princeton's WordNet

  1. complain, kick, plain, sound off, quetch, kvetch(verb)

    express complaints, discontent, displeasure, or unhappiness

    "My mother complains all day"; "She has a lot to kick about"

  2. complain(verb)

    make a formal accusation; bring a formal charge

    "The plaintiff's lawyer complained that he defendant had physically abused his client"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. complain(verb)əmˈpleɪn

    to express unhappiness

    We can't complain about the weather.; She complained that she had nothing to do.; I'm going to complain to the waiter.


  1. complain(Verb)

    To express feelings of pain, dissatisfaction, or resentment.

    Joe was always complaining about the noise made by his neighbours.

  2. complain(Verb)

    To make a formal accusation or bring a formal charge.

    They've complained about me to the police again.

  3. Origin: From complaynen, from complaindre, from complangere, from com- + plangere; see plain, plaint.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Complain(verb)

    to give utterance to expression of grief, pain, censure, regret. etc.; to lament; to murmur; to find fault; -- commonly used with of. Also, to creak or squeak, as a timber or wheel

  2. Complain(verb)

    to make a formal accusation; to make a charge

  3. Complain(verb)

    to lament; to bewail

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'complain' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3729

  2. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'complain' in Verbs Frequency: #443

Anagrams of complain

  1. amplicon

Translations for complain

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


to state one's displeasure, dissatisfaction etc

I'm going to complain to the police about the noise.

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