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 But things have suddenly become more complicated for the urbane Monsieur Arnault. Adrian Croft, Fortune, "Luxury goods mogul Bernard Arnault was briefly crowned ‘world’s richest man.’ Then coronavirus struck," 12 Feb. 2020 But Sanborn said products like e-cigarettes with multiple components are more complicated to dispose of and that going forward all companies should design products with a plan for how it can be disposed of or reused. Stephanie Ebbs, ABC News, "E-cigarettes highlight the challenges of dealing with plastic waste," 11 Feb. 2020 The , but primaries are way less complicated than caucuses. Arit John, Los Angeles Times, "What you need to know about the 2020 New Hampshire primary," 11 Feb. 2020 Mead also claims that Jacksonians typically have an anti-immigrant bent, but Jacksonian history is much more complicated. Daniel Gullota, National Review, "Donald Trump Is No Andrew Jackson," 10 Feb. 2020 While prohibiting potentially malicious actions might sound compelling, our technological reality is much more complicated. Lukasz Olejnik, Wired, "India's Data Protection Bill Threatens Global Cybersecurity," 8 Feb. 2020 But Judge Jody Luebbers revealed their relationship was far more complicated than the charges implied. Cameron Knight,, "'She believed she was your girlfriend:' Ex-Walnut Hills teacher sentenced for nude photos," 4 Feb. 2020 From the podium Thursday night at Severance Hall, the conductor took the rare step of addressing the audience, urging listeners to hear Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 6 as something more complicated than a mere reflection on World War II. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, "Cleveland Orchestra proves its versatility on night of Prokofiev, Bridge, and Dukas," 31 Jan. 2020 But for many of the Roadrunners, Henson knows the calculus on how to guard is a bit more complicated. Greg Luca,, "UTSA looking for solutions to fix struggling defense," 29 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for complicated

Time Traveler

The first known use of complicated was in 1656

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Statistics for complicated

Last Updated

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Complicated.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for complicated


How to pronounce complicated (audio)

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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