Definition of complain verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  

complain

 verb
verb
BrE BrE//kəmˈpleɪn//
 
; NAmE NAmE//kəmˈpleɪn//
 
[intransitive, transitive]Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they complain
BrE BrE//kəmˈpleɪn//
 
; NAmE NAmE//kəmˈpleɪn//
 
he / she / it complains
BrE BrE//kəmˈpleɪnz//
 
; NAmE NAmE//kəmˈpleɪnz//
 
past simple complained
BrE BrE//kəmˈpleɪnd//
 
; NAmE NAmE//kəmˈpleɪnd//
 
past participle complained
BrE BrE//kəmˈpleɪnd//
 
; NAmE NAmE//kəmˈpleɪnd//
 
-ing form complaining
BrE BrE//kəmˈpleɪnɪŋ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//kəmˈpleɪnɪŋ//
 
Anger, Dining out
 
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to say that you are annoyed, unhappy or not satisfied about somebody/something complain (to somebody) (about/of something) I'm going to complain to the manager about this. The defendant complained of intimidation during the investigation. She never complains, but she's obviously exhausted. (informal) ‘How are you?’ ‘Oh, I can't complain (= I'm all right).’ complain (that)… He complained bitterly that he had been unfairly treated. + speech ‘It's not fair,’ she complained. Synonymscomplainprotest object grumble moan whineThese words all mean to say that you are annoyed, unhappy or not satisfied about somebody/​something.complain to say that you are annoyed, unhappy or not satisfied about somebody/​something:I’m going to complain to the manager about this.protest to say or do something to show that you disagree with or disapprove of something, especially publicly; to give something as a reason for protesting:Students took to the streets to protest against the decision.object to say that you disagree with or disapprove of something; to give something as a reason for objecting:If nobody objects, we’ll postpone the meeting till next week. He objected that the police had arrested him without sufficient evidence.grumble (rather informal, disapproving) to complain about somebody/​something in a bad-tempered way:They kept grumbling that they were cold.moan (British English, rather informal, disapproving) to complain about somebody/​something in an annoying way:What are you moaning on about now?whine (rather informal, disapproving) to complain in an annoying, crying voice:Stop whining! ‘I want to go home,’ whined Toby. Whine is often used to talk about the way that young children complain.Patterns to complain/​protest/​grumble/​moan/​whine about something to complain/​protest/​grumble/​moan at something to complain/​protest/​object/​grumble/​moan/​whine to somebody to complain/​protest/​object/​grumble/​moan/​whine that… See related entries: Anger, Dining out Word Origin late Middle English: from Old French complaindre, from medieval Latin complangere ‘bewail’, from Latin com- (expressing intensive force) + plangere ‘to lament’.Extra examples All the guests complained about the noise. He really has no right to complain. I’m going to complain to the authorities about this! It was entirely my own idea, so I can hardly complain. She complained at the unfairness of it all. She complained bitterly about the lack of help she received. ‘How are you?’‘Oh, I can’t complain.’ ‘It’s not fair,’ she complained. She never complains, but she’s obviously exhausted. Phrasal Verbscomplain of something
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: complain

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