Definition of complaisant in US English:



  • Willing to please others; obliging; agreeable.

    ‘when unharnessed, Northern dogs are peaceful and complaisant’
    • ‘His friends, who have known him for more than 25 years, say he has never in his life used one single cuss word, has never been unfriendly and has always been very complaisant.’
    • ‘These ideas were encouraged by complaisant Western ‘development economists’ and by a dubious semantic innovation.’
    • ‘In fact, if he means to keep it up, newspapers may want to send a mixed party of philosophers and wranglers, instead of complaisant hacks, to his next party conference.’
    • ‘Strangely though, this doesn't come over as frosty or nihilistic, but harmless and complaisant.’
    • ‘But nothing seems to shift a complaisant populace.’
    • ‘Although the subsidiary was complaisant to do the parent's will, it did function in giving effect to the parent's wishes and the parent did not usurp the control of the subsidiary.’
    • ‘Noah's eyes were slightly jealous, but he was so complaisant that I figured he'd get over it in a day.’
    • ‘The complaisant attitudes came from some surprising quarters.’
    • ‘Ruthless spin doctors and complaisant media can be a tragic mix’
    • ‘And a complaisant public is also, of course, invaluable to the transaction.’
    willing, assenting, acquiescent, agreeable, amenable, cooperative, accommodating, obliging, biddable, compliant, pliant, deferential, docile, obedient, conformable, tractable
    View synonyms


See complacent


Mid 17th century: French, from complaire ‘acquiesce in order to please’, from Latin complacere ‘to please’.