complaisant

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj complaisant showing a cheerful willingness to do favors for others "to close one's eyes like a complaisant husband whose wife has taken a lover","the obliging waiter was in no hurry for us to leave"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • a Complaisant Desirous to please; courteous; obliging; compliant; as, a complaisant gentleman. "There are to whom my satire seems too bold:
      Scarce to wise Peter complaisant enough."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • complaisant Disposed to please; pleasing in manners; compliantly disposed; exhibiting complaisance; affable; gracious; obliging.
    • complaisant Synonyms Courteous, Urbane, etc. See polite.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Complaisant kom′plā-zant or kom-plā-zant′ desirous of pleasing; obliging
    • adj Complaisant kom′plā-zant or kom-plā-zant′, desirous of pleasing; obliging
    • ***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. complaisant, p. pr. of complaire, to acquiesce as a favor, fr. L. complacere,. See Complacent
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—complaire—L. complacēre.

Usage

In literature:

He received the money with a complaisant obeisance.
"Arthur Mervyn" by Charles Brockden Brown
The ladies were singularly complaisant, and one offered me her friend; another was offered by a man.
"Narrative of a Mission to Central Africa Performed in the Years 1850-51, Volume 2" by James Richardson
Mrs. Egleton, her fellow lodger, had the night before gone to bed sober and was inclined to be complaisant and to interest herself in Lavinia.
"Madame Flirt" by Charles E. Pearce
For the business of making him President, the complaisant Senate had become the workshop of Senator Hanway.
"The President" by Alfred Henry Lewis
He invited us to sup with them, and treated us with the greatest complaisance.
"The Life of George Washington, Vol. 2 (of 5)" by John Marshall
He had ill-used his wife, and had continued a long-continued liaison with a complaisant friend.
"Phineas Redux" by Anthony Trollope
Her grandmother abandoned in a moment an attempt to be complaisant, and sternly ordered her to attend to Colonel McLane's chamber.
"The Entailed Hat" by George Alfred Townsend
During these zealous efforts for the protection of liberty no complaisance for the crown was discovered by this parliament.
"The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part F. From Charles II. to James II." by David Hume
We yielded at last, out of complaisance towards her, and were rewarded by feeling wonderfully refreshed by a solid meal.
"Six to Sixteen" by Juliana Horatia Ewing
But Vavasor was not so complaisant.
"Can You Forgive Her?" by Anthony Trollope
***

In poetry:

Here, boys, bring turf and vervain too;
Have bowls of wine adjacent;
And ere our sacrifice is through
She may be more complaisant.
"To Glycera" by Roswell Martin Field
The nose-end that twitches, the old imperfections—-
Tolerable now as moles on the face
Put up with until chagrin gives place
To a wry complaisance—-
"The Companionable Ills" by Sylvia Plath
YE dames of Britain, Germany, or France,
Would you have done as much, through complaisance?
You would not, I'm convinced: the thing is clear;
But doubtless this, at Rome, must fine appear.
"The Amorous Courtesan" by Jean de La Fontaine