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

As one can imagine, getting Thompson ready was no easy feat; the challenge further complicated by the fact that Redway and her team of three assistants were simultaneously styling Zazie Beetz and Tracee Ellis Ross for the big night. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "It Took a Week—and 12 Feet of Latex—to Create Tessa Thompson’s Met Gala Braid," 7 May 2019 Lately a wrinkle has appeared in the fabric of my days, one that both underscores my daily existence’s stultifying sameness and alters it somehow, complicates it. Deborah E. Kennedy, Good Housekeeping, "My Mom Has Dementia, But Her Relationship With My Son Is Unforgettable," 3 May 2019 All three shows are reboots of original classics, but Peter admitted that filming locations might complicate a potential collaboration. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "A Crazy 'Hawaii Five-0,' 'Magnum, P.I.,' and 'MacGyver' Crossover Might Happen," 26 Apr. 2019 Mozambican officials have said Cyclone Idai destroyed more than 50 health centers in the region, complicating response efforts. Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, The Seattle Times, "Mozambique says cholera cases up to 271 in cyclone-hit city," 31 Mar. 2019 In many ways, magic only complicated things further. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, ""The Magicians" Finale Just Pulled Off Its Most Heart-wrenching Risk Yet," 18 Apr. 2019 Then pregnant with her fourth child, Cotterell, an event planner in Bozeman, Mont., said kidney stones had complicated all of her pregnancies, but this time, the pain was worse, and in a different location. Kate Wehr, Good Housekeeping, "Gallstones Are the Pregnancy Complication No One Warned Me About," 18 Apr. 2019 All of which complicates a track already considered one of the most physically demanding and technically challenging courses of the season with its s-curves, tight corners and long straight with abrupt braking zones. Jim Vertuno, The Seattle Times, "Marquez again wins pole position at MotoGP in Austin," 13 Apr. 2019 It can be emotionally charged and complicated; a source of guilt or empowerment; and methods for bringing in cash can be traditional, or for some women, very creative. Macaela Mackenzie, Glamour, "'I Make $1,700 A Month Selling My Used Underwear on Craigslist'," 26 Mar. 2019

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

15 May 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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