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adjective in·tri·cate \ˈin-tri-kət\

Simple Definition of intricate

  • : having many parts

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of intricate

  1. 1 :  having many complexly interrelating parts or elements :  complicated <intricate machinery> <an intricate plot>

  2. 2 :  difficult to resolve or analyze

intricately adverb
intricateness noun

Examples of intricate in a sentence

  1. Filigree is an ancient technique that creates an intricate, lace-like pattern through the combination of wire swirls and shapes. —Jeanne Rhodes-Moen, Step by Step Wire Jewelry, Fall 2007

  2. Tsunami generation involves intricate interactions among earthquakes, landslides, and “sympathetic” vibrations between the quake and the ocean above it. —Robert Koenig, Science, 17 Aug. 2001

  3. However, other random processes can be quite intricate; for example, the fluctuating prices of stocks are difficult to explain because there are so many variables and combinations of variables that are influencing the prices. —Lloyd Jaisingh, Statistics for the Utterly Confused, 2000

  4. The movie has an intricate plot.

  5. <an intricate machine that requires some training to use it properly>

Origin of intricate

Middle English, from Latin intricatus, past participle of intricare to entangle, from in- + tricae trifles, complications

First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of intricate

complex, complicated, intricate, involved, knotty mean having confusingly interrelated parts. complex suggests the unavoidable result of a necessary combining and does not imply a fault or failure <a complex recipe>. complicated applies to what offers great difficulty in understanding, solving, or explaining <complicated legal procedures>. intricate suggests such interlacing of parts as to make it nearly impossible to follow or grasp them separately <an intricate web of deceit>. involved implies extreme complication and often disorder <a rambling, involved explanation>. knotty suggests complication and entanglement that make solution or understanding improbable <knotty ethical questions>.

INTRICATE Defined for Kids


adjective in·tri·cate \ˈin-tri-kət\

Definition of intricate for Students

  1. 1 :  having many closely combined parts or elements <an intricate design>

  2. 2 :  very difficult to follow or understand <an intricate plot>

intricately adverb

Seen and Heard

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deserving imitation because of excellence

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