com·​pli·​ca·​tion | \ ˌkäm-plə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce complication (audio) \

Definition of complication

1a : complexity, intricacy especially : a situation or a detail of character complicating the main thread of a plot
b : a making difficult, involved, or intricate
c : a complex or intricate feature or element
d : a difficult factor or issue often appearing unexpectedly and changing existing plans, methods, or attitudes
2 : a secondary disease or condition developing in the course of a primary disease or condition

Examples of complication in a Sentence

The negotiations stalled when complications arose. Pneumonia is a common complication of AIDS. She experienced complications during her pregnancy. The patient died of complications from surgery.
Recent Examples on the Web Surgery in any 91-year-old should not be taken lightly, even carpal tunnel release, which is a very effective surgery with a low complication rate. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 10 May 2022 Bluebond-Langner estimates about a 35 percent overall complication rate for patients in her practice. New York Times, 10 May 2022 And those who deliver prematurely and also have a high blood pressure complication called preeclampsia have significantly greater risk of heart disease in the future. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 May 2022 Williams had a medical complication following the birth of her daughter, and has been publically open about the experience. The New Yorker, 8 May 2022 If anyone was doubting Patek’s mastery of supercomplicated pieces before 2011, they were silenced when the manufacture introduced its first triple complication wristwatch to integrate a chronograph. Nick Scott, Robb Report, 7 May 2022 Women usually recover from that complication, but without a medical professional there to replace fluids and stitch ruptures, someone healthy can go into shock and die within hours. Washington Post, 6 May 2022 One complication after another arises, and the team, the people Richard trained, handle each hurdle. Lincee Ray,, 6 May 2022 Researchers also want to know if maybe the hepatitis is part of some kind syndrome that strikes kids after a SARS-CoV2 infection, as the rare complication multisystem inflammtory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, does. Brenda Goodman, CNN, 6 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'complication.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of complication

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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The first known use of complication was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Complication.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for complication


com·​pli·​ca·​tion | \ ˌkäm-plə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce complication (audio) \

Kids Definition of complication

: something that makes a situation more difficult


com·​pli·​ca·​tion | \ ˌkäm-plə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce complication (audio) \

Medical Definition of complication

: a secondary disease or condition that develops in the course of a primary disease or condition and arises either as a result of it or from independent causes

More from Merriam-Webster on complication

Nglish: Translation of complication for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of complication for Arabic Speakers


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