From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishcomplaincom‧plain /kəmˈpleɪn/ ●●●S2W3 verb1[intransitive, transitive]COMPLAIN to say that you are annoyed, not satisfied, or unhappy about something or someone → complaintResidents are complaining because traffic in the area has increased.‘You never ask my opinion about anything, ’ Rod complained.complain (that)She complained that no one had been at the airport to meet her.complain aboutShe often complains about not feeling appreciated at work.complain ofSeveral women have complained of sexual harassment.complain toNeighbours complained to the police about the dogs barking.Employees complained bitterly about working conditions.GrammarYou complain about something or someone: They complained about the service.✗Don’t say: They complained against the service. | They complained for the service.2 →(I/you/he etc) can’t complainCOLLOCATIONSadverbscomplain bitterly (=in a very angry way)My grandfather’s always complaining bitterly about how expensive things are.complain loudlyThe kids were complaining loudly about the heat.constantly complainShe was constantly complaining about her job.phraseshave the right to complainYou have the right to complain if you’re not satisfied with the service you’re getting.have (good) reason to complainWe felt we had good reason to complain about the food at the hotel.have little/no reason to complainThe school is good and parents have little reason to complain.have cause to complainPatients sometimes have cause to complain about the hospital treatment they receive.be in a position to complain (=have a good reason to complain)If you feel you are bullied at work, you are certainly in a position to complain.be the first to complain (=be quick to complain)He’s the first to complain if he thinks something is unfair.THESAURUScomplain to say that you are annoyed, unhappy, or not satisfied about something or someoneSeveral customers complained about the service they received.‘I wish you’d stop telling me what to do, ’ she complained.make a complaint to formally complain about something to someone in authorityHis parents made a complaint to the head teacher.protest to complain about something that you think is wrong, especially publiclyDemonstrators were protesting against the war.object to say that you oppose or disapprove of somethingLocal residents have objected to the plan. Some teachers objected to the scheme.grumble to keep complaining in a bad-tempered way about somethingRail travellers have been grumbling about the increase in ticket prices.What’s he grumbling about now?moan/whine informal (also whinge /wɪndʒ/ British English informal) to keep complaining in an annoying wayEveryone was moaning about the hotel food.Stop whingeing and get on with your work!kick up/make a fuss to complain or become angry about something, especially something that is not very importantThe soup wasn’t hot enough, but he didn’t want to make a fuss.He kicked up such a fuss that they were offered another room. →complain of something→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
complain• Many were calling the centraloffice to complain.• We had to remove the advertisement because so many people complained.• But you won't catch me complaining.• He constantly complains about how he's treated at work.• I should have complained about the first case, but I was inexperienced then.• Their neighbourscomplained about their constantloudmusic.• Workers who had lost their jobs complained bitterly about the way they had been treated.• Denise complained bitterly after he died.• Once at her new work place she complained bitterly of how her style had been cramped.• Jenny's always complaining that her boss gives her too much work.• The patientcomplained that she had to void more urine.• If the hotel isn't satisfactory, you should complain to the Tourist Office.• This was a worker who showed up every day, never complained, you know, gave the job his all.complained bitterly• The boysgasped, wheezed and giggled; the plumper ones complained bitterly.• The social worker complained bitterly about the fact that Mrs X had left the home, and told her off.• He complained bitterly after being surprised by Pat Buchanan in an early primary about a pollster whose predictions had been too optimistic.• Denise complained bitterly after he died.• Once at her new work place she complained bitterly of how her style had been cramped.• He complained bitterly of the small attention that was paid to his ideas in his own country.• Norah complained bitterly that her style had brought the company freepublicityworthfar more than it cost.• We all complained bitterly when it looked as though Adobe was restricting the development of PostScript and keeping the market to itself.