Definition of complacency in English:


(also complacence)


  • [mass noun] A feeling of smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one's achievements.

    ‘the figures are better, but there are no grounds for complacency’
    • ‘Such formal liberties were intended to jolt the viewer out of complacency into a fresh social outlook.’
    • ‘Why does there need to be yet another film that shakes parents out of their supposed complacency?’
    • ‘This is a very dodgy position to be in, as complacency and boredom can quickly set in.’
    • ‘There may be far too much institutional complacency but there is no reason for despair.’
    • ‘But there are no grounds for complacency, and there is justified fear for the future.’
    • ‘The last thing you want to do is to make a complacent audience feel more happy in their complacency.’
    • ‘I felt an overwhelming sense of fear today also, a fear of our ignorance and complacency.’
    • ‘Conservatives may appreciate this liberal complacency when it comes to their own views.’
    • ‘Despite having achieved so much, there is still no complacency in the ranks.’
    • ‘The danger is that this release from tension may lead to complacency.’
    • ‘He warned farmers that there was still an urgent need for caution and there was no room for complacency.’
    • ‘The uninitiated might think that the combination of openness and complacency shouldn't matter.’
    • ‘Fire may be part of the nation's identity, but complacency and greed fan the flames’
    • ‘How long must innocent people continue to pay the price for our indifference and complacency?’
    • ‘It was designed to warn us against complacency but also to anticipate a great future for the country and humanity.’
    • ‘The first is a profound failure of the imagination, which comes from a certain laziness and complacency.’
    • ‘I would like to see less complacency over crime levels in the area and less smugness on the local environment.’
    • ‘But if complacency is replaced with insecurity, what's at all positive about that?’
    • ‘Neither panic nor complacency is a rational response to contemporary fascism.’
    • ‘Since when do we have to put up with complacency, rudeness, laziness and neglect of duty?’
    smugness, self-satisfaction, self-approval, self-approbation, self-admiration, self-congratulation, self-regard
    gloating, triumph, pride
    satisfaction, contentment
    carelessness, slackness, laxity, laxness, laziness
    View synonyms


Mid 17th century: from medieval Latin complacentia, from Latin complacere to please.