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Definition of complaint

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Houghton Mifflin

com·plaint  audio  (km-plnt) KEY 

  1. An expression of pain, dissatisfaction, or resentment.
  2. A cause or reason for complaining; a grievance.
    1. A bodily disorder or disease; a malady or ailment.
    2. The symptom or distress about which a patient seeks medical assistance.
  3. Law
    1. The presentation by the plaintiff in a civil action, setting forth the claim on which relief is sought.
    2. A formal charge, made under oath, of the commission of a crime or other such offense.

Middle English compleinte, from Old French complainte, from feminine past participle of complaindre, to complain ; see complain

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