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

Getting farther into the cave has required lots of oxygen and special diving skills, which would also complicate rescue efforts once the boys are found, Passakorn said. Tassanee Vejpongsa, Fox News, "Top Thai official says flooding complicates cave rescue," 26 June 2018 Getting farther into the cave has required lots of oxygen and special diving skills, which would also complicate rescue efforts once the boys are found, officials said. Tassanee Vejpongsa, The Seattle Times, "Flooding complicates cave search for Thai soccer team," 26 June 2018 Getting deeper into the cave has required lots of oxygen and special diving skills, which would also complicate rescue efforts once the boys are found, Passakorn said. Tassanee Vejpongsa, BostonGlobe.com, "12 boys, coach missing in flooded Thailand cave," 25 June 2018 Getting farther into the cave has required lots of oxygen and special diving skills, which would also complicate rescue efforts once the boys are found, Passakorn said. Washington Post, "Divers re-enter Thai cave to search for 13 cut off by floods," 25 June 2018 On YouTube, video output is often inconsistent between channels and may rely on a blend of live streamed and pre-recorded content, which could complicate how viewers respond to a one-size-fits-all monthly fee. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "How YouTube creators are using the platform’s new Patreon-like subscriptions," 21 June 2018 Comcast’s bid might inspire other companies to make their own offers for Fox as well, which could complicate things further. Laura Bradley, HWD, "What Disney and Comcast’s Battle Over Fox Means for Film and TV Fans," 14 June 2018 The player is also believed to be happy at Tyneside, which could complicate a deal for either London club. SI.com, "Tottenham Enter the Race for Newcastle Defender Jamaal Lascelles Amid Chelsea Interest," 6 June 2018 The bones, from carnivores and their prey, had been dated using radiocarbon in the 1990s, but their ages hadn’t been corrected for the fact that most of the animals lived in the ocean or ate lots of seafood, which complicates radiocarbon estimates. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "New map of Alaska’s ancient coast supports theory that America’s first people arrived by boat," 30 May 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

17 Apr 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 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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