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 Applying this analysis to computer code is more complicated than to a manuscript. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Google’s Free Piracy Pass," 5 Apr. 2021 Nelson, Chauvin's defense attorney, has argued that the case is more complicated than just the video. Eric Levenson And Aaron Cooper, CNN, "Firefighter who watched George Floyd die returns to stand in Derek Chauvin trial," 31 Mar. 2021 The UConn men’s basketball team will look different when the next season dawns, but how different is more complicated than usual. Dom Amore,, "Grading the 2021-22 UConn men’s basketball roster and what it could look like next season," 24 Mar. 2021 Some websites are more complicated than others, and using simplified versions will help Screen Reader get things right a lot faster. Sandra Gutierrez G., Popular Science, "Built-in tools and extensions to make web browsing easier for people with vision impairments," 16 Mar. 2021 The production process of linen is more complicated than regular cotton — many of the high-end linen sheet brands use flax made in Europe on small family farms, where the craft has been passed down over generations. Elizabeth Wallace, CNN Underscored, "The best linen sheets of 2021," 14 Mar. 2021 Geri is more complicated than just the pretty woman behind the bar. Samantha Highfill,, "Walker boss breaks down that Geri twist," 12 Mar. 2021 For Wyden, the decision to work on the bill is far more complicated than wanting to showcase work being done in his home state. oregonlive, "Eugene-area program inspires a push for federal funding for non-police response to mental health crises," 10 Mar. 2021 Its temperature requirements for storage and transport are also considerably less complicated than the other two. Editorial Board, Star Tribune, "Don't be picky if you're offered a vaccine," 2 Mar. 2021

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

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Complicated.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for complicated



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

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