Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Contented to a fault; self-satisfied and unconcerned: He had become complacent after years of success.
  • adj. Eager to please; complaisant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Uncritically satisfied with oneself or one's achievements; smug.
  • adj. Apathetic with regard to an apparent need or problem.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Self-satisfied; contented; kindly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Civil; kindly; giving pleasure. See complaisant (now generally used in this sense).
  • Accompanied with or springing from a sense of quiet enjoyment; gratified; satisfied: as, a complacent look or smile.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. contented to a fault with oneself or one's actions

Etymologies

Latin complacēns, complacent-, present participle of complacēre, to please : com-, intensive pref.; see com- + placēre, to please; see plāk-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin complacens ("very pleasing"), present participle of complacere ("to please at the same time, be very pleasing"), from com- ("together") + placere ("to please"); see please and compare complaisant. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The next night, in the cabin up-river, after Miriam had left them alone to what she termed their complacent silence, Garry Devereau and Steve sat a long while before the former raised a face alight with his rare mirth.

    Then I'll Come Back to You

  • As long as we remain complacent in the face of injustice ... it will continue with impunity.

    Another Face of Brutality

  • The great mass of Christian people remain complacent, unaware both that the position of the Church in contemporary society is humiliating and that the cause of that humiliation is their own timid compromise with a secularism inconsistent with tenets the holding and advancement of which are the Church's chief reason for being …

    Finding a Place for God

  • When you don't have to deal with the consequences, it's easy to remain complacent & ignorant in yer privilege; and even if you do have an awareness of the issue, that doesn't equate to insight as to dealing with it.

    Archive 2008-07-01

  • Or are you content to let things be and remain complacent in your ignorance?

    Think Progress » Bush Claimed Iraqis Oppose Timetable the Day After Iraq’s VP Personally Asked Him for One

  • And knowing that freedom and democracy are the most dangerous enemies of right-wing ideologues, as the bush administration and the republican party have made crystal clear through both words and actions, would it be “extremist” to wonder how much longer true Americans will remain complacent before they take up arms against a government which no longer represents the people, as the Constitution requires?

    Coyote Blog » Blog Archive » What is “Extreme”?

  • After 18 years in complacent captivity, the alien named Ripi is looking to escape for reasons unknown.

    REVIEW: Deepdrive by Alexander Jablokov

  • It may be, the reader will find in our essay beauties which he had not yet observed, which have hitherto been disputed in the original, and which less sympathetic natures than ours might term complacent eulogies; but the fear of being blamed and of being unpopular shall not deter us from our intention of bringing them forth.

    Lord Byron jugé par les témoins de sa vie. English

  • Kreis used the word complacent many times after the game.

    deseretnews.com - Top Stories

  • But we're not complacent, which is why we're already working closely with many businesses and encouraging others to plan ahead to ensure they keep on running during 2012 and make the most of all the Games have to offer.

    London's transport system ready for 'extreme' demands of 2012 Olympics

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