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 She was soon reassigned to work for another producer, whose secretary was hospitalized for two months because of complications from an appendectomy: Gene Roddenberry., "D.C. Fontana, who helped craft the lore of “Star Trek” and developed one of its signature characters, Spock, as the first female writer for the 1960s television series, died Tuesday at a hospital in Burbank, Calif. She was 80 and lived in Los Angeles.," 7 Dec. 2019 Philip is predeceased by his beloved youngest daughter, Chelsea, who died at the age of 26 due to complications from a rare enzyme deficiency with which she was born., "Philip G. Russell," 24 Nov. 2019 Camille Jones passed away a few years ago following complications from diabetes. Bob Mcmanaman, azcentral, "'Keeping up with the Joneses' was always an adventure for the Cardinals' Chandler Jones," 23 Nov. 2019 Edwards needs a kidney transplant due to complications from diabetes. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville Ford worker's plea for kidney gets national attention. He still needs your help," 20 Nov. 2019 At least 60 people have been treated so far by paramedics due to health complications from the smoky conditions, according to the agency. Fox News, "Australia wildfires shroud Sydney in thick smoke, dozens treated for health complications," 19 Nov. 2019 The project was named in honor of Keli McGregor, the Rockies team president who died unexpectedly in 2010 from complications from a rare virus at age 47. Joe Rubino, The Denver Post, "Rockies co-owner Monfort’s McGregor Square is on trend — and at the center of a trend — in LoDo," 17 Nov. 2019 In 2015, Selena Gomez announced her diagnosis with lupus and subsequently underwent a kidney transplant due to complications from the chronic illness. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Selena Gomez Was Criticized for Lupus-Related Weight Gain, and It "Really Messed" Her Up," 12 Nov. 2019 Boesch died on Friday night from complications from Alzheimer’s disease, PEOPLE confirmed. Sydney Bucksbaum,, "Rudy Boesch, oldest Survivor contestant ever, dies at 91," 2 Nov. 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

13 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Complication.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 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).


easily led, controlled, or managed

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