complicate

verb
com·​pli·​cate | \ ˈkäm-plə-ˌkāt \
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 \

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

Others argue that this line of thinking may confuse what’s depressing with what’s complicated. Vogue, "The 55 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time," 1 Feb. 2019 Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday a sweeping set of criminal charges against China’s Huawei Technologies Co. unsealed Monday will not complicate U.S.-China trade talks set to resume in Washington this week. Kate Davidson, WSJ, "U.S.-China Trade Talks Won’t Be Affected by Huawei Charges, Says Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin," 29 Jan. 2019 As more manufacturers hit the 200,000-car limit, the varying levels of available tax credits are bound to confuse buyers and complicate their decisions. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "The $7,500 Tax Credit for Buying an Electric Chevy Might Be Disappearing," 2 Jan. 2019 Sailor Moon is also, notably, supported by a group of other young women who must contend with similarly complicated but challenging notions of power and responsibility. Laura Hudson, The Verge, "Zoe Quinn’s Goddess Mode makes cyberpunk magic from the internet," 27 Dec. 2018 Rescue efforts will continue into Thursday, but have been complicated by the fact that the bridge providing the only road and rail access to the airport from the mainland was badly damaged in the storm. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "Typhoon Jebi Batters Japan, Forces Airport Closure," 5 Sep. 2018 Various studies also point to an inconsistent research classification of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy as a complicating issue. Korin Miller, SELF, "Is It True That Morning Sickness Means Something Good During Pregnancy?," 10 Jan. 2019 Though constructing a holiday party-ready look can sound like a daunting task, the Fluide crew has set out to prove that festive makeup doesn’t need to be complicated. Tess Garcia, Teen Vogue, "Fluide's Gorgeous, Inclusive Holiday Campaign Is Dedicated to Chosen Families Everywhere," 14 Nov. 2018 Charles and Diana's divorce complicates things more. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Inside Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana's Highly Complicated Relationship," 22 Sep. 2018

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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Statistics for complicate

Last Updated

6 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for complicate

The first known use of complicate was in 1638

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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 \
complicated; complicating

Kids Definition of complicate

: to make or become difficult or lacking in simplicity

complicate

transitive verb
com·​pli·​cate | \ ˈkäm-plə-ˌkāt \
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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