Share this entry

Share this page

complaint

Line breaks: com|plaint
Pronunciation: /kəmˈpleɪnt
 
/

Definition of complaint in English:

noun

1A statement that something is unsatisfactory or unacceptable: I intend to make an official complaint there were complaints that the building was an eyesore
More example sentences
  • She refused to say whether she has received complaints that firms are feasting at the city trough.
  • I feel that because of the tremendous amount of complaints that they received last year they felt they had to do something.
  • Some of the worst complaints that I received were about what was happening inside the interrogation rooms.
Synonyms
protest, protestation, objection, remonstrance, statement of dissatisfaction, grievance, charge, accusation, criticism;
informal beef, gripe, grouse, grouch, whinge
Law , British plaint
1.1A reason for dissatisfaction: I have no complaints about the hotel
More example sentences
  • So it is natural for people to have an opportunity to speak out about their complaints and dissatisfactions.
  • When I contacted the hotel about your complaint, he called you to apologize for the inconvenience and to ask what the hotel could do to make things right with you.
  • It is interesting to note that few women have complaints about job-related problems.
1.2 [mass noun] The expression of dissatisfaction: a letter of complaint he hasn’t any cause for complaint
More example sentences
  • The month-long trial was scrapped after takings plunged by £26,000 in 13 days and students fired off almost 100 letters of complaint.
  • A friend of mine in the US subsequently wrote in to the offices of Power 99 FM, the station that had suddenly been flooded with letters of complaint.
  • The EMA said the Chase Village resident who wrote the letter of complaint was invited to contact the authority if he wanted further information or clarification.
Synonyms
protesting, protestation, objection, exception, grievance, grumbling, carping, whining, moaning, muttering, murmuring;
criticism, fault-finding, condemnation, disapproval, dissatisfaction, fulmination, outcry, fuss
Northern English informal mithering
1.3 Law The plaintiff’s reasons for proceeding in a civil action.
Example sentences
  • Was the investigation of the complaint against the plaintiff negligent?
  • At the outset of his investigation he was made aware of a previous complaint about the plaintiff which did not result in any charges being laid.
  • He went through the chronology of the complaints made by the plaintiffs.
2An illness or medical condition, especially a relatively minor one: she is receiving treatment for her skin complaint
More example sentences
  • Many diseases or medical conditions have vertigo as an associated complaint, Gantz notes.
  • Iwan said that his uncle had a number of medical complaints such as hepatitis and diabetes.
  • Minerva has long believed that stress can trigger skin complaints, although some dermatologists disagree.
Synonyms
informal bug, virus
British informal lurgy
Australian informal wog

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French complainte, feminine past participle of complaindre 'to lament' (see complain).

Definition of complaint in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day emulous
Pronunciation: ˈɛmjʊləs
adjective
seeking to emulate someone or something