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Syllabification: com·pla·cent
Pronunciation: /kəmˈplās(ə)nt

Definition of complacent in English:


Showing smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements: you can’t afford to be complacent about security
More example sentences
  • It is always wise to guard against adopting a complacent or smug attitude in life as one ages.
  • The novelty of them has worn off and no team will again head north with the complacent attitude of an easy win and a night in Edinburgh.
  • You only get one life, and if all you ever do with it is grow rich or complacent or comfortable or proud then you might as well not have lived at all.
smug, self-satisfied, self-congratulatory, self-regarding, conceited;
gloating, triumphant, proud;
pleased, satisfied, content, contented


mid 17th century (in the sense 'pleasant'): from Latin complacent- 'pleasing', from the verb complacere.


Complacent and complaisant are two words that are similar in pronunciation and that both come from the Latin verb complacere ‘to please,’ but in English do not mean the same thing. Complacent is the more common word and meanssmug and self-satisfied’: after four consecutive championships, the team became complacent. Complaisant, on the other hand, meanswilling to please’: the local people proved complaisant and cordial.



Example sentences
  • Are my followers and I supposed to sit there tomorrow and eat our turkey complacently while this persecution is occurring?
  • Your editorial complacently endorsed the notion of matching the European Union average on health spending.
  • They have not done that by sitting back complacently.

Definition of complacent in:

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