elaborate

adjective
elab·o·rate | \ i-ˈla-b(ə-)rət \

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 \
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

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Other words from elaborate

Adjective

elaborately adverb
elaborateness noun

Verb

elaboration \i-ˌla-bə-ˈrā-shən \ noun
elaborative \i-ˈla-bə-ˌrā-tiv \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for elaborate

Synonyms: Adjective

blow-by-blow, circumstantial, detailed, full, minute, particular, particularized, thorough

Synonyms: Verb

develop, evolve, unfold

Antonyms: Adjective

compendious, summary

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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

Both residences became elaborate crime scenes on Friday, and investigators in protective suits have been seen entering. Ellen Barry, New York Times, "A Week After Novichok Exposure, 2 Britons’ Lives Hang in the Balance," 7 July 2018 Twenty-eight athletes were later reinstated, but the stain of one of the most elaborate and successful doping ploys in sports remained. Kevin Baxter, latimes.com, "Russia's performance in World Cup — and the country's history — are raising doping suspicions," 5 July 2018 The elaborate and costly ribbons of sabre velvet on satin, meanwhile, were made in Germany and St.-Etienne expressly for the headdresses. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "A Brief History of the Arlesienne Fashion Plates Who Inspired Alessandro Michele’s Cruise Collection," 8 June 2018 Abderrahim Foukara, assistant secretary of Al Jazeera International, confirmed that AJ+ will be moving to Washington, but did not elaborate. Trisha Thadani, San Francisco Chronicle, "Al Jazeera to shut down San Francisco office, home of AJ+," 6 June 2018 For example the Treasury and financial supervisors have made the stress tests that banks face less elaborate, and on May 22nd the House passed a bill exempting banks with less than $250bn of assets from some rules (see article). The Economist, "Business in the Republicans’ America is flourishing, but also changing," 24 May 2018 The arguments for and against Issue 1 The new redistricting process looks elaborate and could well result in a bipartisan deal. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "The Ohio gerrymandering reform going for a statewide vote this week, explained," 7 May 2018 Winter on Tuesday afternoon said the deaths are being treated as a double homicide but did not elaborate. Carol Robinson, AL.com, "Double homicide probe underway after 2 men found slain in Fayette County home," 1 May 2018 As the parties grew more elaborate, so did the creation of Swift as a Good Friend. refinery29.com, "What It Means If Taylor Swift Skips Another Fourth Of July Party," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Lezlie Sterling, his editor, sat with the interns, elaborating on key points as needed. Scott Lebar, sacbee, "A shooting in the family: The Capital Gazette is in my journalism DNA," 30 June 2018 When reporters approached him after the meeting and asked him to elaborate, Lumaj demurred. Daniela Altimari, courant.com, "Details Lacking on Peter Lumaj's Ambassadorship Offer," 21 Mar. 2018 The purpose of such proposals is rarely elaborated, the details never worked out. The Economist, "How policy debates in Europe become untethered from reality," 12 July 2018 Teigen elaborated on her thoughts about the situation in replies to other Twitter users. Emily Wang, Glamour, "Chrissy Teigen Just Called Out a Man for Taking Pictures of Her Breast Pumping," 10 July 2018 Prosecutor Mohammed Ali Saleh confirmed the release of the 46 on Tuesday without elaborating, while the detainees gave the media a list with their names. Maggie Michael, BostonGlobe.com, "In Yemen, 46 detainees released from UAE-controlled prison," 4 July 2018 Today, the jackets, with their boxy fit, stonewash finish, elaborate airbrushed designs, and sparkling Swarovski crystals are having another moment in fashion. refinery29.com, "How Brutal Cult Leader Tony Alamo Amassed A Fortune With Bedazzled Denim Jackets," 29 June 2018 Instead, Findikoglu has created romantic suiting and elaborate—and enormous—gowns, some with panniers, others smothered in ruffles, and one that’s completely sheer on top. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Dilara Findikoglu Is Launching the Most Inclusive Fantastical Collection of Wedding Attire," 20 June 2018 Ford executives will elaborate on their plans during Tuesday’s event. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Big Sean to perform Tuesday at Ford's train station bash," 18 June 2018

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

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

Verb

see elaborate entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near elaborate

Ekurhuleni

el

El'brus

elaborate

elaborater

elaboratory

Elachistaceae

Statistics for elaborate

Last Updated

5 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for elaborate

The first known use of elaborate was in 1592

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More Definitions for elaborate

elaborate

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of elaborate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

elaborate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of elaborate (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

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

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Comments on elaborate

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the setting in which something occurs

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