AskDefine | Define complain

Dictionary Definition



1 express complaints, discontent, displeasure, or unhappiness; "My mother complains all day"; "She has a lot to kick about" [syn: kick, plain, sound off, quetch, kvetch] [ant: cheer]
2 make a formal accusation; bring a formal charge; "The plaintiff's lawyer complained that he defendant had physically abused his client"

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. To express feelings of pain, dissatisfaction, or resentment
    • He was always complaining about the weather
  2. To make a formal accusation or bring a formal charge
    • They've complained about me to the police again


Extensive Definition

In general use, a complaint is an expression of displeasure, such as poor service at a store, or from a local government, etc. Under common law, a complaint is a formal legal document that sets out the basic facts and legal reasons (see: cause of action) that the filing party (the plaintiffs) believes are sufficient to support a claim against another person, persons, entity or entities (the defendants) that entitles the plaintiff(s) to a remedy (either money damages or injunctive relief). For example, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that govern civil litigation in United States courts provide that a civil action is commenced with the filing or service of a pleading called a complaint. Civil court rules in states that have incorporated the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure use the same term for the same pleading.
In some jurisdictions, certain types of criminal cases may also be commenced by the filing of a complaint, also sometimes called a criminal complaint or felony complaint. All criminal cases are prosecuted in the name of the governmental authority that promulgates criminal statutes and enforces the police power of the state with the goal of seeking criminal sanctions, such as the State (also sometimes called the People) or Crown (in Commonwealth Realms). In the United States, the complaint is often associated with misdemeanor criminal charges presented by the prosecutor without the grand jury process. In most U.S. jurisdictions, the charging instrument presented to and authorized by a grand jury is referred to as an indictment.
In many U.S. jurisdictions, a complaint submitted to a court must be accompanied by a Case Information Statement, which sets forth certain key information about the case and the lawyers representing the parties. This allows the judge to make determinations about which deadlines to set for different phases of the case, as it moves through the court system.
In certain countries, (for example the UK and many countries of the European Community), the making of consumer complaints, particularly regarding the sale of financial services, is governed by statute. The statutory authority may require companies to reply to complaints within set time limits, publish written procedures for handling customer dissatisfaction and provide information about arbitration schemes.
complain in German: Strafantrag
complain in Spanish: Demanda
complain in Korean: 진정서 (법)
complain in Japanese: クレーム
complain in Polish: Skarga
complain in Serbian: Жалба
complain in Ukrainian: Скарга

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

accuse, ail, air a grievance, allege, arraign, article, be affected with, beef, bellyache, bemoan, bitch, boggle, book, boycott, bring accusation, bring charges, bring to book, call in question, carp at, challenge, charge, cite, clamor, complain loudly, complain of, confront, contend with, crab, croak, cry, cry out against, demonstrate, demonstrate against, demur, denounce, denunciate, dispute, dissent, enter a protest, expostulate, face down, face out, face up to, fasten on, fasten upon, feel ill, find fault, finger, fret, fret and fume, front, fuss, gripe, groan, grouch, grouse, growl, grumble, grunt, hang something on, holler, howl, impeach, imply, impute, indict, inform against, inform on, insinuate, kick, kick against, labor under, lament, lay charges, lodge a complaint, lodge a plaint, make a stand, march, meet head-on, moan, murmur, mutter, nag, object, offer resistance, oppose, pester, picket, pin on, prefer charges, press charges, press objections, protest, put on report, raise a howl, rally, recalcitrate, register a complaint, reluct, remonstrate, repine, report, reproach, revolt, scruple, show fight, sing the blues, sit in, squawk, stand, stand at bay, stand up against, stand up to, state a grievance, strike, strive against, suffer, take on, take to task, task, taunt with, tax, teach in, twit, wail, whimper, whine, withstand, worry, yap, yell bloody murder, yelp
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1