com·​pli·​cat·​ed | \ ˈkäm-plə-ˌkā-təd How to pronounce complicated (audio) \

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

Helen Cortez/Getty Images/EyeEm First-person essays and interviews with unique perspectives on complicated issues. David Goldstein, Vox, "I paid off all my student loans. I still support student loan forgiveness.," 24 June 2019 Residents come to Treemont after a medical setback, like a complicated infection, a fall resulting in a fracture, or a stroke resulting in the need for retraining in daily living tasks. Houston Chronicle, "Treemont nursing and rehab center reports stellar quality of care inspection," 21 June 2019 Which of the Big Three free agents (Middleton, Lopez, Brogdon) will be the most complicated to retain? Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks Podcast: These are the questions to ponder as the Bucks head into the draft and free agency," 17 June 2019 But in 1979, as Rich points out, the basic science of climate change was not considered especially complicated—or especially controversial. Michelle Nijhuis, The New York Review of Books, "Early Warnings," 17 June 2019 There are certain complicated fractal objects — like a Julia set, or the Koch snowflake — that are produced by dynamical systems. Quanta Magazine, "A Mathematician Whose Only Constant Is Change," 16 June 2019 These are issues that Congress should address, rather than relying on presidential administrations to make the most of a complicated and poorly devised set of statutes. Robert Verbruggen, National Review, "Trump Is Expanding Obamacare . . . in a Good Way," 16 June 2019 This followed three devastating defeats in the House of Commons of her complicated initiatives to implement the withdrawal of Britain from the European Union. Arthur I. Cyr, Lake County News-Sun, "Cyr: British politics reflect change — and stability," 14 June 2019 World-building for five shows at once is a complicated endeavor, and to Rosenberg, Jessica Jones never worked well as part of such an ambitious package deal. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "The Marvel-Netflix Universe’s Final Hero," 14 June 2019

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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Statistics for complicated

Last Updated

27 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for complicated

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 How to pronounce complicated (audio) \

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).


having a desire to acquire more things

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