Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “complain”

complain

verb [I] uk   /kəmˈpleɪn/ us  
B1 to say that something is wrong or not satisfactory: Lots of people have complained about the noise. You're always complaining! [+ that] He complained that his boss was useless and he had too much work.Complaining B1 to tell someone formally that something is wrong: If the service was so bad why didn't you complain to the manager?Complaining
complainingly
adverb uk   /kəmˈpleɪ.nɪŋ.li/ us  
"You always walk too fast for me," she said complainingly.Complaining
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of complain from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of complain?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Complaining, but you might be interested in these topics from the Expressing opposition & disapproval topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “complain” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

microbrewery

a small company that makes beer, usually using traditional methods, and often has a restaurant where its beer is served

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More