Basic+ Word of the Day: complain

complain (verb) past tense: complained LISTEN

"I hate to complain, but I said, 'No onions.'"

Complain means ‘to express dissatisfaction.’

  • Everyone complains about the weather but no one does anything about it.
  • Wilma complained of severe back pain.

Complain also means ‘to find fault.’

  • Justin's mom complained about the way he made his bed.
  • "According to you, nothing I do is right," Patricia complained.

Complain can also mean ‘to make an official protest or accusation.’

  • When her neighbor cut down her oak tree, Roberta complained to the police.

Common uses

can’t complain: I have nothing to complain about. Example: “How are you?” “Can’t complain!”

Related words

complaint: an expression of discontent or regret. Example: “When his new car broke down, Bill wrote a letter of complaint to the manufacturer.”

In pop culture

Watch this video to learn three ways to complain. Which way do you think is most effective?

There are other meanings of complain.
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Word of the Day is released Monday through Friday.

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