complexity

noun
com·​plex·​i·​ty | \ kəm-ˈplek-sə-tē How to pronounce complexity (audio) , käm-\
plural complexities

Definition of complexity

1 : something complex the complexities of the murder trial
2 : the quality or state of being complex the complexity of the contract

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of complexity in a Sentence

He was impressed by the complexity of the music. The diagram illustrates the complexity of the cell's structure. He doesn't grasp the complexity of the situation.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Even so, his stepfather said, Officer Barnes recognized the stress and complexities of working in a school of 1,400 students, and had trained with other officers for the possibility of a school shooting. New York Times, "Police Confronted Texas School Gunman Within 4 Minutes, Sheriff Says," 21 May 2018 In practice, the new rule amounts to an unnecessary exercise in government price-setting that will add a new layer of complexity to equity markets. Stacey Cunningham, WSJ, "We’re Suing the SEC to Protect the Stock Market," 14 Feb. 2019 In the time since her Puma collaboration, which ended with Spring 2018, Rihanna has embraced the power of complexity in her businesses. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Rihanna’s Reportedly Launching a Luxury Fashion Brand—What Will It Look Like?," 18 Jan. 2019 Being the first of anything is never easy, and a launch of this complexity is especially difficult. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "SpaceX Pushes Back 'Especially Dangerous' Dragon Test," 7 Jan. 2019 But the reports highlight the level of complexity Russian groups employed to exploit already existing tensions in the US, and, as the Atlantic’s David Graham notes, amplify attacks already being levied by Donald Trump as a candidate. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "How Russia exploited racial tensions in America during the 2016 elections," 17 Dec. 2018 These complexities also reveal fractures on the basis of sexuality and racial bias. Ernest Owens, Vox, "What it’s like to be black and gay watching the Kevin Hart controversy unfold.," 7 Jan. 2019 Many cities have struggled to manage this economic complexity. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Bikes, bowling balls, and the delicate balancing act that is modern recycling," 31 Dec. 2018 Sources: Bills from UCHealth Memorial Hospital Center and associated medical providers; Cindi Gatton, Pathfinder Patient Advocacy Group The complexity of billing is itself costly—Mr. Stephanie Armour, WSJ, "John Stockman’s Medical Bills Topped $1 Million. What Happened?," 27 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'complexity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of complexity

1661, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for complexity

see complex entry 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about complexity

Share complexity

Statistics for complexity

Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for complexity

The first known use of complexity was in 1661

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for complexity

complexity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of complexity

: the quality or state of not being simple : the quality or state of being complex
: a part of something that is complicated or hard to understand

complexity

noun
com·​plex·​i·​ty | \ kəm-ˈplek-sə-tē How to pronounce complexity (audio) \
plural complexities

Kids Definition of complexity

1 : the quality or condition of being difficult to understand or of lacking simplicity the complexity of a problem
2 : something difficult to understand or lacking simplicity the complexities of business

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on complexity

What made you want to look up complexity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to boil down or concentrate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!