complicate

verb
com·​pli·​cate | \ ˈkäm-plə-ˌkāt How to pronounce complicate (audio) \
complicated; complicating

Definition of complicate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make complex or difficult
2 : involve especially : to cause to be more complex or severe a virus disease complicated by bacterial infection
3 : to combine especially in an involved or inextricable manner

complicate

adjective
com·​pli·​cate | \ ˈkäm-pli-kət How to pronounce complicate (audio) \

Definition of complicate (Entry 2 of 2)

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Examples of complicate in a Sentence

Verb Changing jobs now would complicate her life. a disease complicated by infection Adjective the kind of complicate machinery that is used in the field of robotics
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb During the transition, interested parties in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East have been posturing behind the scenes in ways that already complicate the Biden team’s thinking about how to reëngage. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "Biden Faces a Minefield in New Diplomacy with Iran," 4 Jan. 2021 Both vaccines must be kept frozen, the Pfizer shot at ultra-low temperatures that complicate its delivery to poor or rural areas. Time, "More COVID-19 Vaccines Are in the Pipeline as the U.S. Effort Ramps Up," 29 Dec. 2020 Both vaccines must be kept frozen, the Pfizer shot at ultra-low temperatures that complicate its delivery to poor or rural areas. Lauran Neergaard, Anchorage Daily News, "More COVID-19 vaccines in the pipeline as US effort ramps up," 29 Dec. 2020 Both vaccines must be kept frozen, the Pfizer shot at ultra-low temperatures that complicate its delivery to poor or rural areas. Lauran Neergaard, chicagotribune.com, "More COVID-19 vaccines in the pipeline as US effort ramps up," 28 Dec. 2020 The model also suggests that infections would fall by roughly the same amount — 1% to 5% — if vaccine is prioritized for those with medical conditions that complicate the course of COVID-19. Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, "Haves vs. have-nots: Who ‘deserves’ to be next in line for the COVID-19 vaccine?," 19 Dec. 2020 In addition to this funding shortfall, the Hopi face other challenges that complicate their efforts to secure water supplies. Ian James, AZCentral.com, "'We need water to survive': Hopi Tribe pushes for solutions in long struggle for water," 14 Dec. 2020 The defense bill includes several measures that could complicate Mr. Trump’s plans to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Germany. Lindsay Wise, WSJ, "Senate Approves Defense-Policy Bill Despite Trump Veto Threat," 11 Dec. 2020 The new small business regime in Poland joins a suite of other preferential rules that also complicate the corporate tax landscape. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "Wall Street, Woke Capitalism, and China," 3 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Spelling errors and the language barrier complicate matters too. Adam K. Raymond, Daily Intelligencer, "Reuniting Families Separated at the Border Won’t Be Easy," 20 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of complicate

Verb

1672, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Adjective

1638, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for complicate

Adjective

Latin complicatus, past participle of complicare to fold together, from com- + plicare to fold — more at ply

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Time Traveler for complicate

Time Traveler

The first known use of complicate was in 1638

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Statistics for complicate

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Complicate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/complicate. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for complicate

complicate

verb
How to pronounce complicate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of complicate

: to make (something) more difficult or less simple
: to cause (a medical problem) to become more dangerous or harder to treat

complicate

verb
com·​pli·​cate | \ ˈkäm-plə-ˌkāt How to pronounce complicate (audio) \
complicated; complicating

Kids Definition of complicate

: to make or become difficult or lacking in simplicity

complicate

transitive verb
com·​pli·​cate | \ ˈkäm-plə-ˌkāt How to pronounce complicate (audio) \
complicated; complicating

Medical Definition of complicate

: to cause to be more complex or severe a virus disease complicated by bacterial infection

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Comments on complicate

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