Definition of complexion in English:



  • 1The natural color, texture, and appearance of a person's skin, especially of the face.

    ‘a smooth, pale complexion’
    • ‘They both had similar figures and skin complexions, courtesy of their father's side of the family.’
    • ‘My only worry is, I don't think orange is a colour that suits my complexion.’
    • ‘Purple is a much better colour for your complexion than blue, trust me.’
    • ‘His complexion was pale and there was blood coming from his nose.’
    • ‘White is a popular color when it comes to summer fashion and it works well with most skin complexions.’
    • ‘He had a pale complexion with slight dark stubble on his face.’
    • ‘When will I have perfect, flawless complexion?’
    • ‘It is believed to help clear the complexion and give the skin a fine texture and bring out its natural glow.’
    • ‘I was a surly teenage then, and it didn't do much for my complexion or temper.’
    • ‘She has a pale complexion and was wearing a blue denim jacket with jeans.’
    • ‘She had waist length, ebony hair and her skin complexion wasn't too pale nor too dark.’
    • ‘All I can make out is that she has black hair and eyes, a fair complexion, and a very bad temper.’
    • ‘He looked at his pasty complexion in the mirror.’
    • ‘I half-thought some of these players' natural complexions were gray before watching this.’
    • ‘The offender is said to be in his early 20s, six feet tall and slim with a pale complexion and dark mousy hair.’
    • ‘He was a tall fellow, slight of build with thinning red hair and a pale complexion to match.’
    • ‘The passengers aboard the winged champions had equally natural complexions.’
    • ‘Their complexion is pale and duskish and their skin is rough and cold.’
    • ‘He had thin facial features with a long pointed nose and a pale complexion.’
    • ‘Moretti had a smooth complexion the colour of clotted cream and a face full of cinnamon freckles.’
    skin, skin colour, skin colouring, skin tone, skin texture, pigmentation
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  • 2The general aspect or character of something.

    ‘Congress's new complexion became boldly apparent last summer’
    ‘wind, rain, and road construction have gradually changed Baja's complexion’
    • ‘Had any of those goal chances been converted the complexion of this game may have been very different.’
    • ‘The fall of the wicket brought Vowles to the crease and the game changed complexion.’
    • ‘However, it was the performance of Neil Carew that really changed the complexion of the game.’
    • ‘In the space of five minutes, Achill landed a trio of goals and the complexion of the game was never the same.’
    • ‘The peace was regulated, and thereby preserved, by the altered political complexion of Germany.’
    • ‘What he told me put a very different complexion on the story.’
    • ‘That, obviously, would have changed the complexion of the whole game.’
    • ‘Pronger and Blake can change the complexion of the game just by being on the ice, and believe me, they will be on the ice a lot.’
    • ‘Being alpha male in his own pit will put a different complexion on things.’
    • ‘Nearly every song on A Treasury is a show-stopper, and the track selection is fine, spotlighting Drake's weighty insights and limning the various complexions of his character.’
    • ‘The moments that followed changed the complexion of the game and Conn Rangers history forever.’
    • ‘The change in social complexion is having an impact and people are more aware of crime because of various mediums.’
    • ‘That would change the complexion and tone of campaigning considerably.’
    • ‘He is both a pure scorer and a persistent defender with the ability to alter the complexion of any game.’
    • ‘The complexion of the confrontation may have changed entirely with Thompson's dismissal.’
    • ‘Now the majors have grown into generals in positions of immense power and the complexion of the army has changed drastically.’
    perspective, angle, slant, interpretation
    type, kind, sort
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Middle English: via Old French from Latin complexio(n-) ‘combination’ (in late Latin ‘physical constitution’), from complectere ‘embrace, comprise’. The term originally denoted physical constitution or temperament determined by the combination of the four bodily humors, hence complexion (sense 1) (late 16th century) as a visible sign of this.