complain Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “complain” in the English Dictionary

"complain" in British English

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complainverb [I]

uk   us   /kəmˈpleɪn/
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.B1 to ​tell someone ​formally that something is ​wrong: If the ​service was so ​bad why didn't you complain to the ​manager?

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complainingly
adverb uk   us   /kəmˈpleɪ.nɪŋ.li/
"You always ​walk too ​fast for me," she said complainingly.
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of complain from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"complain" in American English

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complainverb [I]

 us   /kəmˈpleɪn/
to say that something is ​wrong or not good enough: Bill and Nancy are always complaining about ​theirneighbor, whose ​dogfrightenstheirkids. [+ that clause] She complained that she had too much ​work to do. If you complain of a ​physicalcondition, you ​describe something that ​hurts or makes you ​feelill: She complained of ​achingknees from her ​arthritis.
(Definition of complain from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"complain" in Business English

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complainverb [I]

uk   us   /kəmˈpleɪn/
to tell someone that something is wrong or not ​satisfactory, and that you are annoyed about it: complain about sth Workers complain about the ​conditions in which they are ​forced to ​work.complain that The ​chiefexecutive complained that there were no ​systems of ​accountability, ​financialcontrol, or ​planning.
(Definition of complain from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“complain” in British English

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