1. The natural color, texture, and appearance of the skin, especially of the face.
2. General character, aspect, or appearance: findings that will alter the complexion of the problem.
3. A viewpoint, inclination, or attitude: a conservative political complexion.
4. The combination of the four humors of cold, heat, moistness, and dryness in specific proportions, thought in ancient and medieval physiology to control the temperament and the constitution of the body.
[Middle English complexioun, physical constitution, from Old French complexion, from Late Latin complexiō, complexiōn-, balance of the humors, from Latin, combination, from complexus, past participle of complectī, to entwine; see COMPLECT.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.