• IPA: /kəmˈpleɪn/

complain (complains, present participle complaining; past and past participle complained)

  1. (intransitive) To express feelings of pain, dissatisfaction, or resentment.
    Joe was always complaining about the noise made by his neighbours.
    • 1671, John Milton, “Samson Agonistes, […]”, in Paradise Regain’d. A Poem. In IV Books. To which is Added, Samson Agonistes, London: Printed by J. M[acock] for John Starkey […], OCLC 228732398 ↗, line 67, [{}/mode/1up page 12]:
      O loſs of ſight, of thee I moſt complain!
  2. (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: Printed by 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?
  3. To creak or squeak, as a timber or wheel.
    the complaining bed-springs
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