1

elaborate

adjective elab·o·rate \ i-ˈla-b(ə-)rət \
Updated on: 10 Dec 2017

Definition of elaborate

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

elaborately

adverb

elaborateness

noun

Examples of elaborate in a Sentence

  1. 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 PollardNatural HistoryMarch 1995
  2. 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 EstragonWaiting for Dessert1982
  3. 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 HawthorneThe Scarlet Letter1850
  4. They made elaborate preparations for his visit.

  5. I see now that her behavior was all part of an elaborate plan.

  6. The dancers were wearing elaborate costumes.

  7. He told the story in elaborate detail.

Recent Examples of elaborate from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of elaborate

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

2

elaborate

verb elab·o·rate \ i-ˈla-bə-ˌrāt \

Definition of elaborate

elaborated; elaborating
intransitive verb
1 : to expand something in detail
  • would you care to elaborate on that statement
2 : to become elaborate (see 1elaborate)
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

elaboration

play \i-ˌla-bə-ˈrā-shən\ noun

elaborative

play \i-ˈla-bə-ˌrā-tiv\ adjective

Examples of elaborate in a Sentence

  1. … 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 BlockDiaster2006
  2. 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 SaverLondon Review of Books4 Aug. 1988
  3. I'll be glad to elaborate if you want to hear more.

  4. She was asked to say more about her earlier statements, but she declined to elaborate.

Recent Examples of elaborate from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of elaborate


ELABORATE Defined for English Language Learners

elaborate

adjective

Definition of elaborate for English Language Learners

  • : made or done with great care or with much detail : having many parts that are carefully arranged or planned


elaborate

verb

Definition of elaborate for English Language Learners

  • : to give more details about something : to discuss something more fully

  • : to bring (something, such as an idea or a plan) to a more advanced or developed state


ELABORATE Defined for Kids

1

elaborate

adjective elab·o·rate \ i-ˈla-bə-rət , -ˈla-brət \

Definition of elaborate for Students

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

elaborately

adverb

2

elaborate

verb elab·o·rate \ i-ˈla-bə-ˌrāt \

Definition of elaborate for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

elaborate

transitive verb elab·o·rate \ i-ˈlab-ə-ˌrāt \

medical Definition of elaborate

elaborated; elaborating
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


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