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

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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 Memories may be shared at 407.322.4263 or Barry Neal Katzenberg KATZENBERG, BARRY NEAL, 90, went home to be with the Lord on November 14, 2019, after complications from COPD., "Deaths in Central Florida: 11/24," 24 Nov. 2019 Twelve-year-old Kimba died after complications from a procedure to fix his hooves, according to the zoo. Jay Croft, CNN, "Cincinnati Zoo welcomes baby giraffe less than a week after its father died," 23 Nov. 2019 How Twitter and Google changed gears So how exactly are Google and Twitter going about their new policies, if all of these complications exist? Fortune, "Google and Twitter Changed Their Rules on Political Ads. Why Won’t Facebook?," 22 Nov. 2019 Kimba, a 12-year-old giraffe, died of complications following a recent surgical procedure, according to officials. Segann March,, "Cincinnati Zoo 'devastated' by loss of Kimba the giraffe," 17 Nov. 2019 Jim Wells, a Pioneer Press sports writer for more than three and a half decades, died Sunday at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis after complications following angioplasty. Tad Reeve, Twin Cities, "1946-2019: Jim Wells, Pioneer Press sports writer for more than three decades," 28 Oct. 2019 After medical complications, unintentional injury was the next biggest cause of death, with people who died of drug overdoses making up the biggest portion of those cases. Nina Bahadur, SELF, "9 Organizations Working to Save Black Mothers," 22 Oct. 2019 Cummings, a longtime congressman, civil rights leader and frequent foe of President Trump, died last Thursday at the age of 68 after complications from longstanding health problems. Fox News, "Elijah Cummings to 'lie in state' in Capitol's Statuary Hall in new arrangement," 22 Oct. 2019 Talented, trailblazing Cokie Roberts — who died Tuesday at age 75 after complications from cancer — was the rare political reporter born and bred among the Ins. David Von Drehle, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: Cokie Roberts was the best kind of D.C. insider," 18 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for complication

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for complication

Last Updated

29 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Complication.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 8 December 2019.

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More Definitions for complication


How to pronounce complication (audio)

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 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

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Comments on complication

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


to constrict the range or activity of

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