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 Learn about living wills, advanced directives and the complicated issues of these documents. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, "Big musical from Beck Center offers dynamic social critique: Strong Points," 16 Jan. 2020 If that weekend’s game is away, her commute is even more complicated. Josh Will,, "Guest TML: It can't be overstated how Joe Burrow transformed the Southeast Ohio landscape," 10 Jan. 2020 These are complicated issues that will take time to work through. Jason Karaian, Quartz, "The Harry and Meghan royal news, in terms a corporate CEO can understand," 9 Jan. 2020 Then the wrenching ambivalence that black Americans felt about their various methods for negotiating not only Jim Crow laws but, what could be more complicated, also the unwritten racial codes of their day. Nicholas Frankovich, National Review, "Satchmo’s Smile," 9 Jan. 2020 Like everything in Mayotte, though, his position was complicated. Tommy Trenchard, Harper's magazine, "Oceans Apart," 6 Jan. 2020 Sourcing seafood for the Test Kitchen and deciding what to call for in recipes has always been complicated, as guidelines on sustainability are constantly shifting. Bon Appétit, "10 Ways the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen Will Be More Sustainable in 2020," 6 Jan. 2020 As an interloper, K. Yoland deals directly with our national border and subsequently with the more complicated issues around belonging, defense, and ownership over a landscape. al, "The day a tumbleweed rolled down Dauphin Street," 16 Dec. 2019 The equation for the trajectory and velocity of a basketball shot is complicated. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "5 Ways Simple Algebra Will Make Your Life Much Easier," 10 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for complicated

Time Traveler

The first known use of complicated was in 1656

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Statistics for complicated

Last Updated

24 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Complicated.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 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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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).


to express in a more acceptable way

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