Definition for COM'PLAI-SANCE

COM'PLAI-SANCE, n. [com'plazance; Fr. complaisance, from complaisant, the participle of complaire; con or com and plaire, to please, whence plaisant, pleasing, plaisir, pleasure, L. placeo, placere, the infinitive changed into plaire; compiacenza, from compiacere, piacere; Sp. complacencia, complacer. This is the same word as complacence; the latter we have from the Latin orthography. This word affords an example of a change of a palatal letter in the Latin, into a sibilant in French, c into s.]

  1. A pleasing deportment; courtesy; that manner of address and behavior in social intercourse which gives pleasure; civility; obliging condescension; kind and affable reception and treatment of guests; exterior acts of civility; as, the gentleman received us with complaisance.
  2. Condescension; obliging compliance with the wishes or humors of others. In complaisance poor Cupid mourned. – Prior.
  3. Desire of pleasing; disposition to oblige; the principle for the act. Your complaisance will not permit your guests to be incommoded. – Anon.

Return to page 179 of the letter “C”.