From Middle English complaynen, from Old French complaindre, from Medieval Latin complangere (“to bewail, complain”), from Latin com- (“together”) + plangere (“to strike, beat, as the breast in extreme grief, bewail”); see plain, plaint.
- (intransitive) To express feelings of pain, dissatisfaction, or resentment.
- Joe was always complaining about the noise made by his neighbours.
- (intransitive) To make a formal accusation or bring a formal charge.
- They've complained about me to the police again.
- c. 1597, William Shakespeare, “The Merry VViues of VVindsor”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene i]:
- Now, Master Shallow, you'll complain of me to the king?
- To creak or squeak, as a timber or wheel.
- the complaining bed-springs
to express feelings of pain, dissatisfaction, or resentment
to make a formal accusation or bring a formal charge
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Translations to be checked
- complain in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
- complain in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.