Definition of complaint in English:

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Pronunciation: /kəmˈplānt/


1A statement that a situation 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.
protest, objection, grievance, grouse, cavil, quibble, grumble;
charge, accusation, criticism;
informal beef, gripe, whinge
Law  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.
1.2The 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.
protestation, objection, exception, grievance, grumbling;
criticism, fault-finding, condemnation, disapproval, dissatisfaction
informal grousing, bellyaching, nitpicking
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.
disorder, disease, infection, affliction, illness, ailment, sickness;
condition, problem, upset, trouble


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

Words that rhyme with complaint

acquaint, ain't, attaint, constraint, distraint, faint, feint, paint, plaint, quaint, restraint, saint, taint

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: com·plaint

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