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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Synonyms & Antonyms for complicate

Synonyms: Verb

complex, complexify, embarrass, entangle, perplex, sophisticate

Antonyms: Verb

simplify, streamline

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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

However, efforts to sell the business may be further complicated by investors’ efforts to remove Abraaj as the manager of some of its funds and sell them off individually, one person said. Simon Clark, WSJ, "Colony Capital’s Bid for Some Abraaj Assets Is Rejected," 13 July 2018 Demolition and construction could be complicated by the subway tunnel running directly underneath the property and could limit the commercial uses — i.e., no underground parking garages. Martine Powers, Washington Post, "Metro seeks buyer for downtown D.C. headquarters," 12 July 2018 Sonoma County has requested a 40-day extension to complete its roll, which was complicated by the loss of roughly 5,000 properties, mostly homes. Kathleen Pender, SFChronicle.com, "Apple, Tesla, Salesforce add huge sums to soaring Bay Area property rolls," 11 July 2018 Time is of the essence; even delivering provisions is difficult and could be further complicated by more rain. Time, "Divers Begin Rescue Operation to Free 12 Boys and Their Soccer Coach Trapped in a Thai Cave," 8 July 2018 Additionally, with Thailand’s rainy season potentially lasting to the fall, that plan could take months, complicated by rising water levels. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Thai soccer rescue efforts might need to happen sooner than expected, experts warn," 7 July 2018 Supervisor Dianne Jacob created the Cool Zone idea out of concern for seniors and disabled persons with health problems that could be complicated by the effects of heat. Laura Groch, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Where to head when it's hotter than heck: A list of county Cool Zones," 5 July 2018 The rescue effort, which has riveted the nation and generated world headlines, was further complicated by heavy monsoon rains forecast for this weekend. George Styllis, latimes.com, "Thai boys practicing with diving masks, but it's still too early to attempt evacuation," 4 July 2018 In some respects the dynamics would resemble Scalia’s replacement by Gorsuch, but it would be complicated by two factors. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Bracing For a Supreme Court Retirement Bombshell," 27 June 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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Phrases Related to complicate

complicate matters

Statistics for complicate

Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

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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