Simple Definition of convoluted
: very complicated and difficult to understand
: having many twists and curves
Examples of convoluted in a sentence
At base stands a profound respect for the integrity of history and the complex and convoluted relationship between present and the past. —Ira Berlin, New York Times Book Review, 9 Sept. 2001
They are pictures of convoluted tree trunks on an island of pink wave-smoothed stone … —Margaret Atwood, Harper's, August 1990
… she has been fashioning sequences of plans too convoluted to materialize … —Joseph Heller, God Knows, 1984
To therapists, stepfamilies may present convoluted psychological dilemmas … —Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Family Politics, 1983
<a convoluted explanation that left the listeners even more confused than they were before>
Did You Know?
Convoluted and convolution (a noun referring to a folded, winding shape, such as one of the ridges of the brain) are from Latin volvere, meaning "to roll." Volvere has given English many words, but one of the following is NOT from volvere. Can you pick it out?
vault voluminous volley voluble devolve
The path from vault to volvere leads (rather convolutedly) through Middle English, Anglo-French, and Vulgar Latin to Latin volutus, past participle of volvere. Voluble meant "rolling easily" before it meant "speaking readily," and voluminous first meant "consisting of many folds." Devolve (to pass down, as in the stewardship devolved upon the son) once meant literally to roll down. The word that doesn’t belong is volley. It’s from Latin volare, meaning "to fly."
Origin and Etymology of convoluted
First Known Use: 1766
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up convoluted? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).