To complain is to express your unhappiness about something. You might complain to your landlord about a raise in your rent, or to the cops about your noisy neighbors. Just don't whine; it won't get you anywhere.

Speakers of Yiddish will know that complain is often interchangeable with kvetch, which is what you do when you don't like the food or the small portions. But you can complain in a more formal way by, say, writing a letter or even filing a lawsuit. But whether the issue is large or small, do yourself a favor and don't complain too often, or people might stop taking you seriously.

Definitions of complain

v express complaints, discontent, displeasure, or unhappiness

“My mother complains all day”
kick, kvetch, plain, quetch, sound off
cheer, cheer up, chirk up
become cheerful
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hen-peck, nag, peck
bother persistently with trivial complaints
backbite, bitch
say mean things
grizzle, whine, yammer, yawp
complain whiningly
croak, gnarl, grumble, murmur, mutter
make complaining remarks or noises under one's breath
grouch, grumble, scold
show one's unhappiness or critical attitude
utter words of protest
express discontent
beef, bellyache, bitch, crab, gripe, grouse, holler, squawk
inveigh, rail
complain bitterly
bemoan, bewail, deplore, lament
regret strongly
complain about; make a charge against
talk whiningly
declaim, inveigh
speak against in an impassioned manner

v make a formal accusation; bring a formal charge

“The plaintiff's lawyer complained that he defendant had physically abused his client”
Type of:
make an accusatory claim

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