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 Besides the need to feed an expanding population, climate change promises to complicate matters. Myles Karp, National Geographic, "Rotting-fruit art points up plants in peril," 27 Dec. 2019 Lord knows there are enough trans people writing now who are trying to complicate the coming out. Sophie Kemp, Vogue, "Andrea Long Chu on Her Juicily Transgressive Book, Females," 16 Dec. 2019 Smoky Mountains, a woman's (Sarah Lancaster) famous country singer ex-boyfriend (Alan Powell) re-enters the picture to complicate matters. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "16 Romantic Christmas Movies to Stream on Netflix Over the Holidays," 13 Dec. 2019 To complicate matters, both hypotheses could be true. The Economist, "Virtual reality continues to make people sick," 23 Nov. 2019 But fast-flowing historical events were about to complicate things and frustrate his best efforts. USA Today, "JFK files: CIA spy in Cuba ‘befriended’ Castro, Che; played key role amid nuclear-war fears," 21 Nov. 2019 The Aggies are positioned to complicate things in the SEC, with the Bulldogs this week and LSU next. Ralph D. Russo, The Denver Post, "AP college football poll: Air Force climbs closer to Top 25 after win over Colorado State," 17 Nov. 2019 To further complicate the project, the house was built right up against the mountain, which narrowed Costello’s field of options. Lisa Van Loo, azcentral, "Spanish colonial home stripped down to recover spectacular Camelback Mountain views. Take a look.," 14 Nov. 2019 Then, to complicate things, Missy learns that Kellee is actually conspiring against her, to vote her out. Dalton Ross, EW.com, "Jeff Probst addresses 'inappropriate touching' fallout on Survivor," 14 Nov. 2019 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

9 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Complicate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/complicate. Accessed 17 January 2020.

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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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