com·​pli·​cat·​ed | \ˈkäm-plə-ˌkā-təd \

Definition of complicated 

1 : consisting of parts intricately combined a complicated recipe complicated machinery

2 : difficult to analyze, understand, or explain a complicated issue his absurdly complicated life

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Other Words from complicated

complicatedly adverb
complicatedness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for complicated

complex, complicated, intricate, involved, knotty mean having confusingly interrelated parts. complex suggests the unavoidable result of a necessary combining and does not imply a fault or failure. a complex recipe complicated applies to what offers great difficulty in understanding, solving, or explaining. complicated legal procedures intricate suggests such interlacing of parts as to make it nearly impossible to follow or grasp them separately. an intricate web of deceit involved implies extreme complication and often disorder. a rambling, involved explanation knotty suggests complication and entanglement that make solution or understanding improbable. knotty ethical questions

Examples of complicated in a Sentence

The game's rules are too complicated. The machine has a complicated design.

Recent Examples on the Web

Much like the symptoms and health conditions they are used to treat, antipsychotic drugs are complicated. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "9 Things You Should Know About Taking Antipsychotic Drugs," 7 Dec. 2018 JetBlue's policy is surprisingly complicated, and is based on both fare class and ticket price. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Change Fees 101: Which U.S. Airlines Charge the Most to Book a New Flight," 2 Oct. 2018 The political calculus for Democrats is more complicated. Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY, "In Missouri Senate race, GOP contender wants to put Supreme Court fight center stage," 9 July 2018 But China’s defense strategy in Africa is complicated — it can’t be boiled down to a simple correlation of Chinese interests in natural resources in the places where Chinese peacekeeping units are deployed. Lina Benabdallah, Washington Post, "China-Africa military ties have deepened. Here are 4 things to know.," 6 July 2018 With winter weather already blowing in, travel can get complicated. Eric Jordan, Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Do When Your Flight Is Canceled or Delayed," 20 Nov. 2018 Well, that's where things get a little complicated. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Here's the 'Riverdale' Crossover During 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina' That You Probably Missed," 29 Oct. 2018 The great Monster bike had gotten bigger, more complicated, and more expensive over the years, leaving a hole where a stylish, entry-level bike should be. Nick Goddard, Popular Mechanics, "The Ducati Scrambler Icon Bike Just Got a Little Sweeter To Ride," 25 Sep. 2018 But the current system may only get more complicated. Jane Black And Leah Douglas,, "Some food stamp recipients may soon lose access to farmers market benefits," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'complicated.' 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 complicated

1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for complicated

see complicate entry 2

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Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

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The first known use of complicated was in 1656

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English Language Learners Definition of complicated

: hard to understand, explain, or deal with : having many parts or steps


com·​pli·​cat·​ed | \ˈkäm-plə-ˌkā-təd \

Kids Definition of complicated

: difficult to understand or explain complicated rules



Medical Definition of complicated 

of a bone fracture

: characterized by injury to nearby parts

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Comments on complicated

What made you want to look up complicated? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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