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Complexion Vs Complection: What Is The Correct Word To Use?

Complexion Vs Complection: What Is The Correct Word To Use?

Complexion vs complection: which word do you use to describe a person’s skin color? Getting confused by these words is easy, especially when learning the English language and you are unfamiliar with them. Worry not because this is the right place to learn.

Complexion means “the combination of humor making up a person’s psychological temperament, like being cold or hot, moist or dry. This noun also refers to the outward appearance of something, like a person’s skin. On the other hand, complection is an obsolete spelling of complexion.

Complexion and complection are simple words with more in common than meets the eye. Therefore, there is so much to learn about these words. Read on to find out the correct word between complexion and complection.

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Definitions Of Complexion And Complection

A precise understanding of a word’s definition helps with effective communication. It’s even more confusing when words have related definitions. But again, a vague and complicated definition can easily confuse learners.

For this reason, when defining words, ensure you are precise and convoluted. We intend to do this with the definitions of complexion and complection to clarify their confusion. So, here are the comprehensive definitions, according to multiple sources.

What Are The Definitions Of Complexion?

A complexion refers to “the quality, color, or appearance of a person’s skin on the face.” In simpler terms, a complexion is the coloring of a person’s face or the hue of the skin, especially the face.

A figurative definition of a complexion is ‘” the outward appearance of something.” For example, a house’s outside appearance is its complexion.”

In Psychology, a complexion is “the combination of humor making up a person’s psychological temperament.” In this case, the complexion can be cold or hot and moist or dry.

This word also refers to “a point of view, general attitude, or an inclination to something or someone.” For example, “an altered complexion towards someone.” This statement translates to “an altered general attitude towards something.”

Another definition of complexion is “a combination that results from any form of interaction.” For example, kids are complexions of two-parent genes.

Another source designs a complexion as “something made from combining things or a complex element.” For example, “The sentence is a complexion of diphthongs.”

More Definitions Of Complexion

A complexion is “a general aspect or character of something” or “the general appearance of something.” For example, you can say a game’s complexion or the sky’s complexion.

Another source defines a complexion as “the bodily constitution, attitude, character, nature, or natural disposition of something.”

An obsolete definition of a complexion is “a combination of elements that determine a person’s health and temperature.”

What Are The Definitions Of Complection?

This is the obsolete spelling of complexion. It no longer exists, and you will not find it in any dictionary.

How To Properly Use Complexion And Complection In A Sentence

The section above concludes that complection is an incorrect spelling and a non-existent word. On the other hand, complexion is a correct English word with multiple definitions. Here are some tips for how you can use both words in sentences in various contexts:

How To Use The Word Complexion

You can use the word “complexion” in a sentence as a verb or noun. As a noun, use complexion in a sentence to mean:

  • A person’s skin color, texture, or appearance
  • The general characteristics of something
  • Unique aspects, qualities, or impressions related to something
  • Characteristics that form a person or something’s distinctive character
  • An outlook or point of view
  • Something’s or someone’s outward appearance
  • An arrangement
  • A state of being complex

Do you know that you can also use this word as a verb? Apply it when you want to mean the following:

  • To give color to something
  • To add color to something

How To Use The Word Complection

Since this word is obsolete and does not exist in conventional English vocabulary, there are no guidelines for using it in sentences. 

Complexion Vs Complection: Why You Should Always Use The Correct Word

The correct word between the two is “complexion.” Therefore, you should avoid using the word “complection” at all costs because it is obsolete and incorrect. Using the correct word offers the following benefits:

It Avoids Confusion

Using the right word helps avoid confusion. Even though some words sound the same and have related meanings, they alter the meaning when you use them incorrectly in a sentence. When communicating, it’s wise to avoid any confusion as much as you can.

It Helps With Effective Communication

Effective communication is not only about exchanging information. Instead, it is about ensuring that the recipient of the message understands the emotions and intentions behind the words. Unfortunately, you cannot achieve that by using incorrect words or improper spellings. Using the right words helps you convey clear messages.

It Is Key In Formal Writing

While you may get away with using incorrect words on social media, in texts, or informal communications, the same may not count in formal writing. Correct words are vital when writing formal documents like CVs, academic papers, and others. A board of educators or employees will not respond to a CV or any formal document riddled with misspellings and incorrect words.

List Of Examples Of Complexion And Complection Use In Sentences

As you all know by now, using correct words in sentences is vital. However, many people use incorrect words either out of ignorance or misinformation. Since you already know the truth about complexion and complection, you can now start using the right words.

What about checking out some sample sentences with these words? Here are some examples of how you can use the words complexion and complection in sentences:

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Example sentences of the word complexion

  1. My mother has a darker complexion than our siblings.
  2. Hanna wore a dark blue shirt accentuating her light complexion and complimented her bomber jacket.
  3. The police department is looking for a murder suspect with a fair complexion, brunette hair, and blue eyes.
  4. Georgina gave birth to a beautiful baby boy with a light complexion and gorgeous emerald eyes.
  5. Whenever Daniele is annoyed, her complexion changes, and her eyes start tearing.

Example sentences of the word complection

  1. Jamilla’s complection changed as soon as her nemesis entered the room. (INCORRECT)
  2. My neighbor’s light complection sets him apart from the rest of the hood. (INCORRECT)
  3. The complection of the stars gets accentuated by the evening darkness. (INCORRECT)
  4. The setting sun’s complection is perfect for a bridal photoshoot. (INCORRECT)
  5. Jane loves to boast about her smooth and pale complection. (INCORRECT)

Complexion and Complection: Their Origin and Etymology

The word complexion comes from the mid-14th-century word “complexioun,” meaning “temperament or natural disposition of the body or mind.” This word also comes from the Ol French word “complession,” meaning “a combination of humor, temperament, character, or make-up.”

Another source explains that complexion comes from the Latin word “complexionem,” meaning “combination,” from the Late Latin “complexus,” meaning “surrounding or encompassing.”

The meaning “skin color or hue, especially in the face” came about in the mid-15th-century. In Medieval physiology, experts believed that the skin color on the face influenced a person’s temperament or physical health. However, this belief is currently obsolete.

In contrast, the origin of the word “complection” is still unknown. Instead, all sources that mention this word refer to it as an “obsolete spelling of complexion.”


In a nutshell, complexion and complection are regularly confused words because the latter is an obsolete spelling of the former. However, complection does not exist in contemporary English vocabulary. So, avoid the word.