I'd like to say something like "the complainer" for a one-off incident where a person complained about another person, but without implying that they complain habitually (i.e. complainer), and without implying there were legal proceedings (i.e. plaintiff, complainant).

plaintiff - the person in a legal proceeding who makes a charge of wrongdoing against another

complaintant - the party who makes the complaint in a legal action or proceeding

complainer - a person who makes frequent complaints usually about little things

Example sentence: The ____ accused Mrs. Jones of taking her keyboard. The ____ then proceeded to raise her voice at Mrs. Jones.

  • How about accuser?
    – Jim
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 5:08
  • 1
    Your writing emulates legal style here, why not borrow complainant which has less legal implications than plaintiff?
    – Jim
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 5:11
  • It's for an office incident report which is to be given to a senior manager with the aim of 1) not sounding legally serious, and 2) not painting an overly negative view of the person who raised the complaint.
    – Drakes
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 5:25
  • @jim Accuser - it's quite serious
    – Drakes
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 5:26
  • In your own words: " ____ accused Mrs. Jones"
    – Jim
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 5:28

2 Answers 2


If there is some particular reason for withholding the person's name, I might refer to them as the party, the offended party, or the other party.

If you wanted to be less formal you could say the person, the offended person etc.

But I also see little wrong with saying the complainant for that is what they were.

Take all of the above to include the indefinite article rather than the definite, if that seems appropriate.

  • I'll use a mix of "the complainant" and "the other party" to avoid using the same term repeatedly in each sentence. Thank you for the suggestions
    – Drakes
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 8:28

I think what you are looking for is the aggrieved, defined as having suffered from unfair treatment here.

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