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complain (v.)

late 14c., compleinen, "lament, bewail, grieve," also "find fault, express dissatisfaction, criticize," also "make a formal accusation or charge to an authority," from stem of Old French complaindre "to lament" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *complangere, originally "to beat the breast," from Latin com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + plangere "to strike, beat the breast" (from PIE root *plak- (2) "to strike").

The sense evolution is from "expression of suffering" to "grievance; blame." The transitive sense of "lament" died out 17c. Also from late 14c. as "utter expressions of grief or pain," hence, chiefly poetically "emit a mournful sound" (1690s). Related: Complained; complaining.

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Definitions of complain

complain (v.)
express complaints, discontent, displeasure, or unhappiness;
My mother complains all day
Synonyms: kick / plain / sound off / quetch / kvetch
complain (v.)
make a formal accusation; bring a formal charge;
The plaintiff's lawyer complained that he defendant had physically abused his client
From wordnet.princeton.edu