elaborate

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

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

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Other Words from elaborate

Adjective

elaborately adverb
elaborateness noun

Verb

elaboration \ i-​ˌla-​bə-​ˈrā-​shən How to pronounce elaboration (audio) \ noun
elaborative \ i-​ˈla-​bə-​ˌrā-​tiv How to pronounce elaborative (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 The train station proposal in Mobile has, through initial drawings, included a more elaborate facility near Cooper Riverside Park. al, "Mississippi cities to Mobile: Commit to Amtrak’s Gulf Coast return," 28 Jan. 2020 Gibney is unsparing in detailing the rigged auctions and elaborate schemes that delivered Russia’s energy, banking, and telecommunications infrastructure to roughly half a dozen oligarchs. David Klion, The New Republic, "Citizen K Captures the Rise and Fall of an Oligarch," 22 Jan. 2020 Aalto worked with a decorative artist named Eino Kauria on an elaborate multicolor scheme that considered the amount of light that streamed into the building throughout the day. Anne Quito, Quartz, "Healthcare would be better if we learned from this old tuberculosis sanatorium in Finland," 4 Jan. 2020 Plus, when there were more elaborate visual effects, there was significant lag. Benjamin Levin, CNN Underscored, "Amazon's Fire HD 10 gives you great entertainment options on a budget," 26 Dec. 2019 Over time, as more information about the crashes seemed to suggest wrongdoing on Boeing’s part, the apologies have grown more elaborate. Natasha Frost, Quartz at Work, "What do Boeing CEO’s Dennis Muilenburg’s apologies actually mean?," 31 Oct. 2019 Few hosting platforms, especially startups, will have the resources to implement elaborate monitoring systems. San Diego Union-Tribune, "EU court: Facebook can be forced to remove content worldwide," 3 Oct. 2019 But long before humans rolled up with cement trucks, other species were already building elaborate infrastructure that put ours to shame. Ryan Huling, Wired, "Maps Are Biased Against Animals," 21 Jan. 2020 The the mother of four gave fans a better view of the intricate decorations, sharing snaps of a topiary maze in the hallway, an elaborate cake with a giant grinning Cheshire cat and a bouncy house in the backyard. Georgia Slater, PEOPLE.com, "Chicago Is 2! See Her Sweet Birthday Wishes from Mom Kim Kardashian and Grandma Kris Jenner," 15 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In a brief conversation here at the NCAA convention Wednesday, Boise State athletics director Curt Apsey declined to elaborate on what those options might be beyond legal recourse. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Abandon Mountain West for the AAC? Boise State football appears to have options," 23 Jan. 2020 Gabbard declined to elaborate on any more details of the complaint, directing reporters to the details of the lawsuit. Emily Larsen, Washington Examiner, "‘I will not stand quietly by’: Tulsi Gabbard addresses lawsuit against Hillary Clinton," 22 Jan. 2020 The president had announced there would be additional sanctions earlier this week but hadn't elaborated on that announcement. CBS News, "Iran says U.S. bears blame for Iranian forces shooting down plane," 15 Jan. 2020 Montgomery’s firing is not related to that kind of misbehavior, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team has not elaborated on the reason for Montgomery’s dismissal. BostonGlobe.com, "DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas Stars fired second-year coach Jim Montgomery on Tuesday, citing unspecified unprofessional conduct in a surprising blow to one of the preseason favorites in the NHL’s Western Conference.," 12 Dec. 2019 The accident occurred Sunday during a routine safety exercise of the platform's lifeboat launch and retrieval capabilities, Shell said, although the company has not elaborated yet on how the incident occurred. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Two killed, one injured at Shell deepwater platform," 1 July 2019 Later, the panel’s head, epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan, elaborated in an interview with China Central Television, the state broadcaster. Dennis Normile, Science | AAAS, "Arrival of SARS-like new virus in United States heightens concerns about global spread," 21 Jan. 2020 Days after delivering his State of the State speech this week, Gov. Doug Ducey elaborated on his priorities, and fielded questions on some of Arizona's other top issues in an exclusive interview with The Gaggle podcast. Maritza Dominguez, azcentral, "Listen to The Gaggle podcast's exclusive interview with Gov. Doug Ducey about 2020," 17 Jan. 2020 But the Clippers’ elaborate plea to earn his signature on a five-year, $171 million deal in 2017 – only to trade him six months later to the Pistons – bothered him. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "One year after torching Clippers, Pistons' Blake Griffin appears to be fading," 2 Jan. 2020

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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Statistics for elaborate

Last Updated

7 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Elaborate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elaborated. Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for elaborate

elaborate

adjective
How to pronounce elaborate (audio)

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
How to pronounce elaborate (audio)

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 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

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