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

Efforts to identify and counter disinformation have proven not only deeply complicated, but also politically charged. Matt Apuzzo, New York Times, "Europe Built a System to Fight Russian Meddling. It’s Struggling.," 6 July 2019 Parents of gifted children in the rest of the country know aggressive acceleration complicates school scheduling and takes administrators out of their comfort zones. Jay Mathews, Washington Post, "Why are so many 8th-graders taking AP Calculus at this school district?," 6 July 2019 Efforts to identify and counter disinformation have proved not only deeply complicated, but also politically charged. Matt Apuzzo, BostonGlobe.com, "Europe built a system to fight Russian meddling. It’s struggling.," 6 July 2019 Your feelings of guilt will only complicate your own recovery, but this is something to discuss with a counselor. Ask Amy, oregonlive.com, "Ask Amy: Woman gets paralyzing news: the man who raped her is marrying her friend," 5 July 2019 Your feelings of guilt will only complicate your own recovery, but this is something to discuss with a counselor. Amy Dickinson, The Mercury News, "Ask Amy: I just found out she’s marrying my rapist," 5 July 2019 Your feelings of guilt will only complicate your own recovery, but this is something to discuss with a counselor. Amy Dickinson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Ask Amy: Assault survivor is traumatized by invitation," 4 July 2019 Your feelings of guilt will only complicate your own recovery, but this is something to discuss with a counselor. Amy Dickinson, chicagotribune.com, "Ask Amy: Assault survivor is traumatized by invitation," 4 July 2019 But unforced errors and clumsy attempts at creating conversation have complicated what could be a triumphant chapter for her. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Paradox of Madonna’s Gun-Control Music Video," 3 July 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

10 Jul 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

What made you want to look up complicate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

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