Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Satisfied with the current situation and unconcerned with changing it, often to the point of smugness.
  • adjective Eager to please; complaisant.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Self-satisfied; contented; kindly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Latin complacēns, complacent-, present participle of complacēre, to please : com-, intensive pref.; see com– + placēre, to please; see plāk- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

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

  • 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

  • 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.

    Mind Meld -- Gender Imbalance

  • 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

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