Learning English

Word: Complaisant

Complaisant [Adjective]

Sentence: The G.P.A. ethos takes spirited children and pushes them to be hard working but complaisant. The G.P.A. mentality means tremendous emphasis has now been placed on grit, the ability to trudge through long stretches of difficulty. Influenced by this culture, schools across America are busy teaching their students to be gritty and to have “character” — by which they mean skills like self-discipline and resilience that contribute to career success. (Source: www.nytimes.com)

Meaning: Obliging; Always ready to please others without much or any protest

The Confusion?

While “Complaisant” and “Complacent” sound the same, they mean quite different things. The latter is used to describe someone who is smug or self-satisfied.

How To Remember?

A “Complainant” complains but a “Complaisant” never complains. Complaisant people do everything within their means and beyond to satisfy others – it maybe their friends, their family members, their teachers or even their pet dog.

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Picture Credit: singingwaiters.ie

[If you are in the hotel or restaurant business, you would have to hire waiters. And waiters do have to be complaisant. While this is a requirement in many professions, it can be a liability in some.]

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