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 Some believe that the reduction in benefits will lead to better employment numbers, but the disruption in service jobs due to the rise in infections could complicate the situation. Bill Stone, Forbes, 6 Sep. 2021 Despite concerns that the highly transmissible Delta variant could complicate the safety of in-person learning, Massachusetts school leaders have chosen to keep remote learning off the table as an option this year. BostonGlobe.com, 30 Aug. 2021 In one pivotal moment, the attorney opened up about his strained relationship with his family, and how that could complicate his possible Hometown date. Martha Sorren, refinery29.com, 24 Aug. 2021 Grace could bring 5 to 10 inches of rain to Hispaniola, which could lead to flash flooding and complicate search and rescue efforts in Haiti following Saturday’s 7.2-magnitude earthquake. Leigh Morgan, al, 17 Aug. 2021 But administration officials are watching the race carefully for early warning signs of the mood of the party and whether other primaries could even further complicate Democratic efforts to maintain their slim congressional majorities. Jeff Zeleny And Gregory Krieg, CNN, 1 Aug. 2021 Businesses, too, are likely to find that new mask recommendations complicate plans to return to their offices in places where the virus is spreading and may necessitate new mandates for employees to get vaccines. New York Times, 28 July 2021 Some officials have expressed concerns that the monsoonal weather could complicate firefighting efforts by bringing intense wind and lightning to the blaze areas. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, 27 July 2021 Thursday afternoon had a 50% chance of thunderstorms, and expected hot temperatures and high humidity could complicate search efforts, Baird said. Felicia Fonseca, Anchorage Daily News, 15 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Bring extra masks in case this happens, since a wet mask can be less effective and complicate breathing, according to the CDC. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 27 Apr. 2021 Spelling errors and the language barrier complicate matters too. Adam K. Raymond, Daily Intelligencer, 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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Dictionary Entries Near complicate

complicant

complicate

complicated

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Statistics for complicate

Last Updated

12 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Complicate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/complicate. Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for complicate

complicate

verb

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

More from Merriam-Webster on complicate

Nglish: Translation of complicate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of complicate for Arabic Speakers

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