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 More rain is going to complicate matters -- and more rain is coming. Leigh Morgan, al, "Historic February rain? Too soon to tell, but it’s adding up," 11 Feb. 2020 The musical, which Fey also wrote the book for and hit Broadway in 2018, follows the same general trajectory as the film, albeit with the addition of social media to really complicate things for Cady. Kaitlin Reilly, refinery29.com, "Sabrina Carpenter Is Stepping Into Lindsay Lohan’s Shoes For New Mean Girls Musical," 11 Feb. 2020 The caucuses were operating under new, complex rules that required the reporting of three different tiers of results, and that appears to have complicated the counting. Nicholas Riccardi, Anchorage Daily News, "What went wrong in Iowa and what’s next," 5 Feb. 2020 To complicate matters further, the website was registered using an email address with the name Paul Craig Roberts. Donie O'sullivan, CNN, "Exclusive: 'American' news site with ties to Iran sheds new light on Tehran's information war," 24 Jan. 2020 Language is a construct created in order to make humans confuse one another and to complicate their existence with deeply painful emotions that didn’t exist before the words that define them were invented. Jonny Auping, The New Yorker, "Conspiracy Theories That Never Gained Traction," 18 Jan. 2020 Both sides also have conflicting demands that are likely to complicate negotiations. Fox News, "British lawmakers approve Johnson's Brexit bill, clearing path for Jan. 31 EU departure," 9 Jan. 2020 Back-to-back snowstorms and strong winds combined to seriously complicate travel by land across much of the rest of Wyoming, where roads were closed in the eastern and southern parts of the state because of whiteout conditions. Anita Snow, chicagotribune.com, "Powerful storm disrupts holiday travel, dumping heavy snow from California to northern Midwest," 30 Nov. 2019 Back-to-back snowstorms and strong winds combined to seriously complicate travel by land across much of the rest of Wyoming, where roads were closed in the eastern and southern parts of the state because of whiteout conditions. Anita Snow, Twin Cities, "Powerful storm pushes into Midwest with heavy snow and winds," 30 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

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Complicate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/complicate. Accessed 27 Feb. 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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