- 1 [reporting verb] Express dissatisfaction or annoyance about something: [with clause]: local authorities complained that they lacked sufficient resources [with direct speech]: ‘You never listen to me,’ Larry complained [no object]: we all complained bitterly about the foodMore example sentences
protest, grumble, moan, whine, bleat, carp, cavil, lodge a complaint, make a complaint, make a fuss; object to, speak out against, rail at, oppose, lament, bewail; criticize, find fault with, run down, inveigh against• informal whinge, kick up a fuss, kick up a stink, bellyache, beef, grouch, grouse, bitch, sound off, go on about, pick holes inNorthern English • informal mitherNorth American • informal kvetchSouth African • informal chirpBritish • dated crib, natter• archaic plain over
- She said local people had complained bitterly about the lack of notice for the plan to extend the deadline by a year.
- Mrs Owen complained to an attendant but was dissatisfied with the response.
- He complained to the local authority about the noises and smells from his neighbour's farm.
- 1.1 [no object] (Of a structure or mechanism) groan or creak under strain.More example sentences
- I yelled while the muscles on my body were complaining with great strain.
- As if to torment them further, the steps creaked, complaining with each step they made loud enough to wake the dead.
- After two years of being asked to do nothing more than growl and yip, my voice-box complained at the strain of speech.
- 2 [no object] (complain of) State that one is suffering from (a pain or other symptom of illness): her husband began to complain of headachesMore example sentences
- She suffered a cut to her ankle and also complained of a whiplash-like pain.
- So, when a child complains of back pain, one has to act fast and go for a thorough investigation.
- With no real operation having taken place, the patient does not feel any pain, complains of no scars, and can walk home immediately afterwards.
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- It merely brands you as the department's top grumbler, grouch and complainer.
- How do you handle persistent complainers or moaners effectively?
- It seems that it is the complainers and grumblers who express their opinions.
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- We are accustomed to governments not doing what we elect them to do, so we carry on uncomplainingly (or complainingly in my case) without demanding answers from our elected representative.
- The rich moved complainingly into well-fortified hotels, and the police and firemen helped themselves to the contents of bombed or abandoned homes.
- She is calling attention to her clothes, complainingly.
late Middle English: from Old French complaindre, from medieval Latin complangere 'bewail', from Latin com- (expressing intensive force) + plangere 'to lament'.