Definition of complain in English:


See synonyms for complain

Translate complain into Spanish


  • 1reporting verb Express dissatisfaction or annoyance about something.

    with clause ‘local authorities complained that they lacked sufficient resources’
    • ‘‘You never listen to me,’ Larry complained’
    • ‘we all complained bitterly about the food’
    protest, grumble, moan, whine, bleat, carp, cavil, lodge a complaint, make a complaint, make a fuss
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  • 2complain ofno object State that one is suffering from (a pain or other symptom of illness)

    • ‘her husband began to complain of headaches’
  • 3no object (of a structure or mechanism) groan or creak under strain.

    squeak, groan, grate
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    1. 3.1 literary Make a mournful sound.
      • ‘let the warbling flute complain’



/kəmˈplān/ /kəmˈpleɪn/


Late Middle English from Old French complaindre, from medieval Latin complangere ‘bewail’, from Latin com- (expressing intensive force) + plangere ‘to lament’.