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Complainee Vs Complainant, Are These Similar? When To Use

Complainee Vs Complainant, Are These Similar? When To Use

We have all been in a position where we had no choice but to complain. Have you ever considered whether you should be the "complainee" or the "complainant?" Are these the same?

Yes! They are similar. The difference between "complainant" and "complainee" as nouns is that "complainant" in a legal context is the one who files a civil lawsuit against another, the plaintiff. In contrast, the "complainee" is the subject of a complaint.

In order to fully comprehend how to distinguish between the two, we must know what each of the words means and how they are used.


Complainee; one who is the subject of a complaint, one who is the topic of a complaint.

The term "complainee" is a morpheme, or more precisely, a suffix, in grammar. Additionally, it is a countable noun.

Origin Of The Word

Both the words "complainee" and "complainant" are derived from the word "Complain." The word "complain" is the result of multiple lingual evolutionary variations. "Complain" itself is a word derived from the French word "complaindre," which happens to mean "to lament."

This is composed of "COM," which is an original Latin word that is used to refer to together or in combination with," followed by "plaindre," which also comes from Latin. However, Latin that is spoken in colloquial or vulgar forms. The word means "to strike, to beat the breast."

The sense evolved from "expression of suffering" to "grievance or blame." Lament lost its transitive sense in the seventeenth century. Also known as "utter expressions of anguish or suffering" from the late 14th century. As a result, especially artistically, it means "emit a melancholy sound."


Example Of Sentences

Complainee; the subject of the complaint.

  • In light of this, I'm not confident that alternative dispute resolution methods were properly employed—the complaint and the complainee have a long relationship.
  • Any action taken by the Company against the Complainee for a Violation will not preclude external parties from taking action against the Violation under the Regulations and any other applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
  • The complainee admitted to his unethical action and provided what he perceived to be extenuating circumstances.
  • Even though the complainee can hire legal counsel, he is expected to reply to the committee's demands for information directly.
  • If the complainee does not take the complaint as a request to buy, he or she may not understand the statement.

Synonyms + Examples


Ex: Their own attorney urged the lawyer to send the defendant to jail.


Ex: When the litigant interrupted the proceedings for the third time, the judge sent him to jail for the remainder of the day.


Ex: As a first offender, he received a lenient sentence.


Ex: The suspect was held in confinement before his sentence hearing because of the jury's request.



A person who files a formal complaint in a court of law alleging that they have been damaged by someone else. In other words, the party that makes the complaint in a legal action or proceeding.

Example Of Sentences

  • How can we investigate complainants' accusations if we don't take them at face value?
  • She then showed up as a complainant in the case against her former friend, and she had a different version of the events.
  • Older people supported such complainants to drop criminal charges and instead open civil suits for the cattle outstanding.
  • By concentrating on the "options" not chosen by the complainants, the lady faculty member successfully portrays the young lady's behavior as lacking in resistance.
  • However, this is not to say that the complainants subscribe to this same understanding of the events.
  • He searches for effective complaints systems severely weakened by underrepresenting complainants' concerns in the reform process and those responsible for procedures.
  • Even states without gag controls often try to restrict speech, forcing complainants to keep their grievances confidential.
  • The complainants protested that the advertisements were insulting and condoned violent and anti-social behavior.

Synonyms + Examples

Words that have the same connotation as "Complainant."


Ex: After the trial, he assigned the case to the proper court and presided over it throughout the test, which took place in the public air, that the judges and the accuser might not be polluted by being conducted under the same roof with the offender.


Ex: The claimant required the postal service to compensate her since the carrier lost the package.


Ex: The plaintiff was charged with contributory negligence for failing to use a crash helmet.

Antonyms + Examples

Counter of the party that induces a civil lawsuit against another.

  • DEFENDANT, EX: The defendant hired an attorney to protect against the plaintiff's accusations.
  • ACCUSER, EX: The accused himself would be distracted by eliminating his accuser.
  • APPELLANT. EX: Unfinished appeal, the appellant's see is not to be filled up. The judges selected by the bishop of Rome to hear the petition are from the neighboring provinces.
  • LITIGANT. EX: A plaintiff is a litigant, as is the defendant, because they both are connected in a lawsuit.

Complainee Vs. Complainant, Are These Similar?

similar different

These two words are often the epicenter of confusion due to their writing similarities. However, each word has a different meaning.

"Complainee" is a word that is used when referring to the subject of a lawsuit. For example, an individual is getting sued for a particular reason and will consequently become the complainee.

On the other hand, the Complainant is the party that brings such a lawsuit into motion. If we were to explain it in a different perspective while still staying within the legal context, the concept of these two words would equate to a plaintiff and a defendant.

The plaintiff files the lawsuit, whereas the defendant is the one who is sued and is defending the case. The defendant can file a counter-complaint against the plaintiff. The plaintiff becomes the plaintiff or counter-defendant, and the defendant becomes the defendant or counter-plaintiff if this occurs.

When To Use

Since we now understand the differences between each word and their meanings, without being redundant, we can say that these two words have specific contexts in which they are appropriate to use. It is specific in the sense that each word makes a notation to something different, but it remains within the lines of the legal field.

Here's an example in which we could determine who would be the complainee and the complainant;

Example Dog Bite Complaint Lawsuit

In this lawsuit example, we can see that the complainee would be "Margaret Evans," who is the person defending or denying a suit, while the complainant in this scenario would be "Mary Elizabeth Bennett" that becomes the person who brings a lawsuit or action; the party who complains or sues in a civil action.

Hopefully, this example helps you to lay out the differences between each and assigns the correct meaning in your head to each word.


You're either suing or getting sued. To wrap this up, we wouldn't blame you for confusing these two words since they are derived from a similar term.

To make the definitions easier to understand, we can say that a complainee is the one who is complained about, the subject of a complaint. Contrary to the counterpart "complainant," that is the one who makes a complaint. However, these two words simply have different meanings, and their usage will depend on the context you're using. These two words are a prime example in which grammatical similarity does not equate to an identical description.