com·​pli·​ca·​tion | \ˌkäm-plə-ˈkā-shən \

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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

On Friday, meanwhile, that Trump-Putin summit was given a dramatic complication, when the US Justice Department announced new charges were being filed against 12 Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking Democratic Party emails. Howard Lafranchi, The Christian Science Monitor, "How strong a Europe does US want? In Trump era, that's still the issue.," 13 July 2018 To avoid infection and other complications, the AAP recommends having a medical professional perform a piercing, using rubbing alcohol or some form of disinfectant., "Kylie Jenner Pierces 5-Month-Old Daughter Stormi's Ears: How Safe Is the Procedure for Babies?," 12 July 2018 The measles can also cause serious complications, such as pneumonia and encephalitis, or swelling of the brain. Rita Giordano,, "Second suspected measles case detected in South Jersey," 5 July 2018 The disease can lead to serious health complications, such as blindness, kidney disease, heart disease, stroke and loss of toes, feet or legs. Martin E. Comas,, "Florida Department of Health reschedules free diabetes classes in Lake," 3 July 2018 One complication: depending on the model, row sizes may be 32KB, 64KB, 128KB, or possibly other sizes. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "New RAMpage exploit revives Rowhammer attack to root Android devices," 2 July 2018 There’s this complication, too: The Rockets have extensive free agency business to handle with several key current players, and waiting on James’ decision could come with a ripple effect on that front. Sam Amick, USA TODAY, "LeBron James' decision to become a free agent is bad news for Houston Rockets," 29 June 2018 One potential complication for Wolves, however, is that Porto only own 50% of his rights, with the other half controlled by the Doyen Group., "Wolves Linked With €30m Summer Swoop For Highly Rated Porto Star Yacine Brahimi," 21 June 2018 She was granted bail in May because of her age and health complications, but that does not mean she’ll be freed soon. Washington Post, "Bangladesh opposition leader Zia critically ill, aide says," 19 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of complication

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

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Last Updated

1 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for complication

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

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More Definitions for complication



English Language Learners Definition of complication

: something that makes something harder to understand, explain, or deal with

medical : a disease or condition that happens in addition to another disease or condition : a problem that makes a disease or condition more dangerous or harder to treat


com·​pli·​ca·​tion | \ˌkäm-plə-ˈkā-shən \

Kids Definition of complication

: something that makes a situation more difficult


com·​pli·​ca·​tion | \ˌkäm-plə-ˈkā-shən \

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

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