What's the word origin of "complain"?

Question:It's considered a bad thing, but the co prefix is usually positive: commitment, compassion, companion. curious!

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source
com·plain /kəmˈpleɪn/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kuhm-pleyn] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–verb (used without object) 1. to express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault: He complained constantly about the noise in the corridor.
2. to tell of one's pains, ailments, etc.: to complain of a backache.
3. to make a formal accusation: If you think you've been swindled, complain to the police.


[Origin: 1350–1400; ME compleinen < AF compleign-, s. of compleindre, OF complaindre < VL *complangere, equiv. to L com- com- + plangere to lament; see plaint]

—Related forms
com·plain·a·ble, adjective
com·plain·er, noun
com·plain·ing·ly, adverb

—Synonyms 1. Complain, grumble, growl, whine are terms for expressing dissatisfaction or discomfort. To complain is to protest against or lament a wrong: to complain about high prices. To grumble is to utter ill-natured complaints half to oneself: to grumble about the service. Growl may express more anger than grumble: to growl in reply to a question. To whine is to complain in a meanspirited way, using a nasal tone: to whine like a coward, like a spoiled child.
—Antonyms 1. rejoice.
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source com·plain (kəm-plān') Pronunciation Key
intr.v. com·plained, com·plain·ing, com·plains

To express feelings of pain, dissatisfaction, or resentment.
To make a formal accusation or bring a formal charge.

[Middle English compleinen, from Old French complaindre, complaign-, from Vulgar Latin *complangere : Latin com-, intensive pref.; see com- + Latin plangere, to lament; see plāk-2 in Indo-European roots.]

com·plain'er n.

(Download Now or Buy the Book) The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Online Etymology Dictionary - Cite This Source

c.1370, from stem of O.Fr. complaindre "to lament," from V.L. *complangere, orig. "to beat the breast," from L. com- intensive prefix + plangere "to strike, beat the breast," from PIE base *plag- "to strike." Older sense of "lament" died out 17c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper
WordNet - Cite This Source complain

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

WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.
American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms - Cite This Source

see can't complain.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary (Beta Version) - Cite This Source
complain1 [kəmˈplein] verb

to state one's displeasure, dissatisfaction etc
Example: I'm going to complain to the police about the noise. Arabic: يَتَذَمَّر، يَتَشَكّى
Chinese (Simplified): 抱怨
Chinese (Traditional): 抱怨
Czech: stěžovat si
Danish: klage
Dutch: klagen
Estonian: kaebama
Finnish: valittaa
French: se plaindre
German: sich beklagen
Greek: διαμαρτύρομαι
Hungarian: panaszkodik
Icelandic: kvarta
Indonesian: mengadu
Italian: reclamare
Japanese: 不平を言う
Korean: 불평하다
Latvian: sūdzēties; iesniegt sūdzību
Lithuanian: skųstis
Norwegian: klage (over), beklage seg, påtale, reklamere
Polish: narzekać
Portuguese (Brazil): queixar-se
Portuguese (Portugal): queixar-se
Romanian: a se plânge
Russian: подавать жалобу
Slovak: sťažovať sa
Slovenian: pritožiti se
Spanish: quejarse
Swedish: klaga
Turkish: şikâyet etmek

complain2 [kəmˈplein] verb

(with of) to state that one has (pain, discomfort etc)
Example: He's complaining of difficulty in breathing. Arabic: يَشْكو مِن
Chinese (Simplified): 说自己有病痛
Chinese (Traditional): 主訴, 自己說(病痛等)
Czech: stěžovat, *naříkat si na
Danish: klage over; beklage sig over
Dutch: klagen
Estonian: kurtma
Finnish: valittaa
French: se plaindre (de)
German: klagen
Greek: παραπονιέμαι
Hungarian: elpanaszol
Icelandic: kvarta, kveina
Indonesian: mengeluh
Italian: lamentarsi
Japanese: 訴える
Korean: (고통·불편 등을) 호소하다
Latvian: žēloties; sūdzēties
Lithuanian: skųstis, nusiskųsti
Norwegian: klage over
Polish: skarżyć się
Portuguese (Brazil): queixar-se
Portuguese (Portugal): queixar-se
Romanian: a se plânge, a se văita (de)
Russian: жаловаться
Slovak: nariekať (na)
Slovenian: pritoževati se
Spanish: quejarse de
Swedish: klaga
Turkish: şikâyet etmek

See also: complaint

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary (Beta Version), © 2000-2006 K Dictionaries Ltd.
Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary - Cite This Source
Main Entry: com·plain
Pronunciation: k&m-'plAn
Function: intransitive verb
: to speak of one's illness or symptoms <the patient visited the office complaining of weight loss>

Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.
Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law - Cite This Source
Main Entry: com·plain
Function: intransitive verb
: to make a complaint

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law, © 1996 Merriam-Webster, Inc.
It's from Latin "complangere'
com, intensive, and langere, meaning 'to lament'.

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