noun, plural com·pla·cen·cies.

  1. a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.
  2. Archaic.
    1. friendly civility; inclination to please; complaisance.
    2. a civil act.

noun plural -cencies or -cences

  1. a feeling of satisfaction, esp extreme self-satisfaction; smugness
  2. an obsolete word for complaisance

mid-15c., “pleasure,” from Medieval Latin complacentia “satisfaction, pleasure,” from Latin complacentem (nominative complacens), present participle of complacere “to be very pleasing,” from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + placere “to please” (see please). Sense of “pleased with oneself” is 18c.


1640s, from same source as complacence but with the later form of the suffix (see -cy).

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