, complaisant
 The first means self-satisfied, contented to the point of smugness. The second means affable and cheerfully obliging. If you are complacent, you are pleased with yourself. If you are complaisant, you wish to please others. Both words come from the Latin complacere ("to please"), but complaisant reached us by way of France, which accounts for the difference in spelling.

Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors. 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • complacent — complacent, self complacent, self satisfied, smug, priggish are comparable when they mean feeling or showing satisfaction especially in one s own possessions, attainments, accomplishments, or virtues. Complacent implies that a feeling of pleasure …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Complacent — Com*pla cent, a. [L. complacens very pleasing, p. pr. of complacere; com + placere to please: cf. F. complaisant. See {Please} and cf. {Complaisant}.] Self satisfied; contented; kindly; as, a complacent temper; a complacent smile. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • complacent — complacent, complaisant have the same pronunciation apart from s in the first and z in the second. Both are derived from the Latin word complacere ‘to please’. Complacent means ‘calmly confident’ and normally has unfavourable connotations, i.e.… …   Modern English usage

  • complacent — I adjective at ease, carefree, complaisant, compilable, compliant, composed, content, contented, fulfilled, gratified, peaceful of mind, placid, pleased, qui sibi placet, reposeful, resigned, satisfied, self content, self satisfied, serene, smug …   Law dictionary

  • complacent — 1650s, pleasing, from L. complacentem (nom. complacens) pleasing, prp. of complacere be very pleasing (see COMPLACENCE (Cf. complacence)). Meaning pleased with oneself is from 1767. Related: Complacently …   Etymology dictionary

  • complacent — [adj] contented conceited, confident, easy going, egoistic, egotistic, gratified, happy, obsequious, pleased, satisfied, selfassured, self contented, self pleased, selfpossessed, self righteous, self satisfied, serene, smug, unconcerned; concepts …   New thesaurus

  • complacent — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ smug and uncritically satisfied with oneself or one s achievements. DERIVATIVES complacency (also complacence) noun complacently adverb. ORIGIN from Latin complacere to please …   English terms dictionary

  • complacent — [kəm plā′sənt] adj. [L complacens, prp. of complacere, to be very pleasing < com , intens. + placere, to PLEASE] 1. satisfied; esp., self satisfied, or smug 2. affable; complaisant complacently adv …   English World dictionary

  • complacent — com|pla|cent [kəmˈpleısənt] adj [Date: 1600 1700; : Latin; Origin: , present participle of complacere to please greatly , from com ( COM ) + placere to please ] pleased with a situation, especially something you have achieved, so that you stop… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • complacent — adj. VERBS ▪ appear, be, seem, sound ▪ become, get, grow ADVERB ▪ extremely …   Collocations dictionary

  • complacent — [[t]kəmple͟ɪs(ə)nt[/t]] ADJ GRADED (disapproval) A complacent person is very pleased with themselves or feels that they do not need to do anything about a situation, even though the situation may be uncertain or dangerous. We cannot afford to be… …   English dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.