complaint

/keuhm playnt"/, n.
1. an expression of discontent, regret, pain, censure, resentment, or grief; lament; faultfinding: his complaint about poor schools.
2. a cause of discontent, pain, grief, lamentation, etc.
3. a cause of bodily pain or ailment; malady: The doctor says I suffer from a rare complaint.
4. Law. the first pleading of the plaintiff in a civil action, stating the cause of action.
[1350-1400; ME compleynte < MF complainte < L com- COM- + plancta PLAINT]
Syn. 3. sickness, illness, ailment.

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▪ American law
      in law, the plaintiff's initial pleading, corresponding to the libel in admiralty, the bill in equity, and the claim in civil law. The complaint, called in common law a declaration, consists of a title, a statement showing venue or jurisdiction, one or more counts containing a brief formal exposition of facts giving rise to the claim asserted, and a demand for relief. Thus, it informs the defendant of the plaintiff's claim and initiates the pretrial process of narrowing the case to one or more sharply defined issues of law or fact. In common law and under early procedural codes, the task of defining the issues was performed solely by the pleadings, but modern procedural systems have added pretrial conferences and deposition and discovery procedures for this purpose.

also called  plaint 

      in literature, a formerly popular variety of poem that laments or protests unrequited love or tells of personal misfortune, misery, or injustice. Works of this type include Rutebeuf's La Complainte Rutebeuf (late 13th century) and Pierre de Ronsard (Ronsard, Pierre de)'s “Complainte contre fortune” (1559).

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Complaint — Com*plaint (k[o^]m*pl[=a]nt ), n. [F. complainte. See {Complain}.] 1. Expression of grief, regret, pain, censure, or resentment; lamentation; murmuring; accusation; fault finding. [1913 Webster] I poured out my complaint before him. Ps. cxlii. 2 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • complaint — late 14c., lamentation, grief, from O.Fr. complainte (12c.) complaint, lament, noun use of fem. pp. of complaindre (see COMPLAIN (Cf. complain)). Meaning bodily ailment is from 1705 (often in U.S. colloquial use generalized as complaints) …   Etymology dictionary

  • complaint — [n1] statement of disagreement, discontent accusation, annoyance, beef*, cavil, CC*, charge, clamor, criticism, dissatisfaction, expostulation, fault finding, grievance, gripe, grouse, grumble, guff*, jeremiad, kick, lament, moan, objection,… …   New thesaurus

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  • complaint — ► NOUN 1) an act of complaining. 2) a reason for dissatisfaction. 3) the expression of dissatisfaction: a letter of complaint. 4) an illness or medical condition, especially a relatively minor one …   English terms dictionary

  • complaint — the initiatory document in a lawsuit that notifies the court and the defendant of the grounds claimed by the Plaintiff for an award of money or other relief against the defendant (Glossary of Common Bankruptcy Terms) The first or initiatory… …   Glossary of Bankruptcy

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  • complaint — [kəm plānt′] n. [ME complainte < OFr < complaindre] 1. the act of complaining; utterance of pain, displeasure, annoyance, etc. 2. a subject or cause for complaining; grievance 3. an illness; ailment 4. Law a pleading setting forth the… …   English World dictionary

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