complicate

verb
com·​pli·​cate | \ ˈkäm-plə-ˌkāt How to pronounce complicate (audio) \
complicated; complicating

Definition of complicate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make complex or difficult
2 : involve especially : to cause to be more complex or severe a virus disease complicated by bacterial infection
3 : to combine especially in an involved or inextricable manner

complicate

adjective
com·​pli·​cate | \ ˈkäm-pli-kət How to pronounce complicate (audio) \

Definition of complicate (Entry 2 of 2)

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Examples of complicate in a Sentence

Verb

Changing jobs now would complicate her life. a disease complicated by infection

Adjective

the kind of complicate machinery that is used in the field of robotics
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The blacklisting move could complicate EU efforts to keep alive an international agreement curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out. Lorne Cook, The Seattle Times, "EU blacklists Iranian intel service over assassination plots," 8 Jan. 2019 What sort of bad weather has complicated rescue efforts? Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "Denali Plane Crash: Search Continues for Survivors," 6 Aug. 2018 The war further complicated any immigration efforts. NBC News, "Anne Frank's family tried to escape to U.S. but hit immigration roadblocks," 6 July 2018 The war further complicated any immigration efforts. Washington Post, "Anne Frank’s family tried to escape to US, hit roadblocks," 6 July 2018 Entrenched gang conflicts and deeply rooted tensions between the police and the black community have also complicated crime-fighting efforts. Jeremy Gorner, chicagotribune.com, "With high-tech help, there's been less bloodshed in Chicago this year, but results are mixed on the West Side," 4 July 2018 Heavy alcohol use raises the risk of TB developing, and addiction complicates efforts to observe treatment daily, health officials say. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "Meet the city health worker who tracks down tuberculosis patients in Anchorage," 3 July 2018 What to do with the additional revenue could also complicate efforts to pass a bill. Jonathan Shorman And Allison Kite, kansascity, "Online shopping may eventually cost more. But it could help Kansas, Missouri," 22 June 2018 In addition, party leaders want to move on from an issue that divides the GOP, complicating their effort to retain House control in November's elections. CBS News, "White House says Trump supports "moderate" GOP immigration bill after confusion," 16 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Spelling errors and the language barrier complicate matters too. Adam K. Raymond, Daily Intelligencer, "Reuniting Families Separated at the Border Won’t Be Easy," 20 June 2018

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

Verb

1672, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Adjective

1638, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for complicate

Adjective

Latin complicatus, past participle of complicare to fold together, from com- + plicare to fold — more at ply

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Statistics for complicate

Last Updated

6 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for complicate

The first known use of complicate was in 1638

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More Definitions for complicate

complicate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of complicate

: to make (something) more difficult or less simple
: to cause (a medical problem) to become more dangerous or harder to treat

complicate

verb
com·​pli·​cate | \ ˈkäm-plə-ˌkāt How to pronounce complicate (audio) \
complicated; complicating

Kids Definition of complicate

: to make or become difficult or lacking in simplicity

complicate

transitive verb
com·​pli·​cate | \ ˈkäm-plə-ˌkāt How to pronounce complicate (audio) \
complicated; complicating

Medical Definition of complicate

: to cause to be more complex or severe a virus disease complicated by bacterial infection

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Comments on complicate

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