elaborate

adjective
elab·​o·​rate | \ i-ˈla-b(ə-)rət How to pronounce elaborate (audio) \

Essential Meaning of elaborate

: made or done with great care or with much detail : having many parts that are carefully arranged or planned They made elaborate preparations for his visit. I see now that her behavior was all part of an elaborate plan/plot/scheme. See More ExamplesThe dancers were wearing elaborate costumes. He told the story in elaborate detail. an elaborate mealHide

Full Definition of elaborate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : planned or carried out with great care took elaborate precautions
2 : marked by complexity, fullness of detail, or ornateness elaborate prose

elaborate

verb
elab·​o·​rate | \ i-ˈla-bə-ˌrāt How to pronounce elaborate (audio) \
elaborated; elaborating

Definition of elaborate (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to expand something in detail would you care to elaborate on that statement
2 : to become elaborate (see elaborate entry 1)

transitive verb

1 : to work out in detail : develop elaborate a theory
2 : to produce by labor
3 : to build up (something, such as complex organic compounds) from simple ingredients

Other Words from elaborate

Adjective

elaborately adverb
elaborateness noun

Verb

elaboration \ i-​ˌla-​bə-​ˈrā-​shən How to pronounce elaborate (audio) \ noun
elaborative \ i-​ˈla-​bə-​ˌrā-​tiv How to pronounce elaborate (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for elaborate

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of elaborate in a Sentence

Adjective Jumping spiders, the largest family of spiders, have excellent eyesight and perform elaborate courtship and threat displays, often characterized by ritualized body postures and leg waving. — Simon Pollard, Natural History, March 1995 Mostly, I think, because it's wicked hot today, I've been having elaborate fantasies about the perfect hot-weather lunch: two dozen freshly opened Little Necks and a couple bottles of ice-cold lager. None of that red "cocktail" sauce on 'em either, just lemon and coarse black pepper. — Vladimir Estragon, Waiting for Dessert, 1982 On the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread, appeared the letter A. — Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter, 1850 They made elaborate preparations for his visit. I see now that her behavior was all part of an elaborate plan. The dancers were wearing elaborate costumes. He told the story in elaborate detail. Verb … the National Weather Service … advised all citizens in New Orleans's water-filled neighborhoods "to take the necessary tools for survival." The Weather Service elaborated: "Those going into attics should try to take an axe or hatchet with them so they can cut their way onto the roof to avoid drowning should rising flood waters continue to rise into the attic." — Christopher Cooper & Robert Block, Diaster, 2006 In each evening's sleep sustained dream scenarios, elaborated over periods lasting up to an hour, alternate with thought-like mentation in 90-minute-cycles. — Jeffrey Saver, London Review of Books, 4 Aug. 1988 I'll be glad to elaborate if you want to hear more. She was asked to say more about her earlier statements, but she declined to elaborate.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Inside the House Inquiry: From a nondescript office building, the panel has been quietly ramping up its sprawling and elaborate investigation. New York Times, 6 Jan. 2022 Where do his elaborate, bilingual lyrics, packed with cultural references and sordid personal stories, come from? Javier Hasse, Forbes, 10 Dec. 2021 The New York Police Department said it had been consulted about the city’s authorization of injection sites, but the department didn’t immediately elaborate. Jennifer Peltz, ajc, 30 Nov. 2021 Both were entranced by the pageantry of the con: the brightly colored, elaborate, multi-hundred-dollar costumes; the ability to lose oneself entirely in a character. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 21 Oct. 2021 Davis’ harmonic vocabulary is elaborate, unpredictable, his own. Los Angeles Times, 14 Sep. 2021 Your Shoes parade are meant to be elaborate, eye-catching and over-the-top. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, al, 7 Sep. 2021 Photographs from the time show Ms. Brown triumphantly astride her headstanding elephant, arms raised high, her elaborate headdress perfectly in place. BostonGlobe.com, 25 July 2021 Some are simple piles of plastic bones and faux headstones; others are quite elaborate. Washington Post, 28 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Pelle had said Sunday that law enforcement officials had served a search warrant at a specific property, but declined to elaborate. Peter Weber, The Week, 4 Jan. 2022 Volvo declined to elaborate about the breach and its possible impact on its business but said that based on current information the safety or security of its customers’ cars or personal data shouldn’t be affected. William Boston, WSJ, 10 Dec. 2021 The adoption consultants at Friends for Life can elaborate on what this diagnosis means for Maisel and the family that adopts her. The Arizona Republic, 6 Nov. 2021 An Amazon spokesman confirmed her departure but declined to elaborate. Mark Gurman, Bloomberg.com, 3 Nov. 2021 Franks did not elaborate on individuals in these groups. Fox News, 20 Dec. 2021 The spokeswoman didn't elaborate on how the government will decide on where to send the drug. Matthew Perrone, BostonGlobe.com, 19 Dec. 2021 The agency also did not elaborate on the nature of the additional criminal activity. Grace Toohey, orlandosentinel.com, 21 Oct. 2021 Perdue didn't elaborate on how Kemp supposedly turned over Georgia elections to Abrams, and his campaign didn't respond to CNN's requests for clarification. Daniel Dale, CNN, 8 Dec. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elaborate.' 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 elaborate

Adjective

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1611, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

History and Etymology for elaborate

Adjective and Verb

Latin elaboratus, from past participle of elaborare to work out, acquire by labor, from e- + laborare to work — more at laboratory

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Time Traveler for elaborate

Time Traveler

The first known use of elaborate was in 1592

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Dictionary Entries Near elaborate

El'brus

elaborate

elaborater

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Statistics for elaborate

Last Updated

12 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Elaborate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elaborate. Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for elaborate

elaborate

adjective
elab·​o·​rate | \ i-ˈla-bə-rət How to pronounce elaborate (audio) , -ˈla-brət \

Kids Definition of elaborate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: made or done with great care or with much detail an elaborate ceremony

Other Words from elaborate

elaborately adverb

elaborate

verb
elab·​o·​rate | \ i-ˈla-bə-ˌrāt How to pronounce elaborate (audio) \
elaborated; elaborating

Kids Definition of elaborate (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to give more details about Would you elaborate on what happened?
2 : to work out in detail He elaborated his ideas.

elaborate

transitive verb
elab·​o·​rate | \ i-ˈlab-ə-ˌrāt How to pronounce elaborate (audio) \
elaborated; elaborating

Medical Definition of elaborate

of a living organism
: to alter the chemical makeup of (as a foodstuff) to one more suited to bodily needs (as of assimilation or excretion) especially : to build up (complex organic compounds) from simple ingredients the toxin elaborated by the tetanus bacterium

More from Merriam-Webster on elaborate

Nglish: Translation of elaborate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of elaborate for Arabic Speakers

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