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 Their bakery, located on Second Avenue and Fillmore Street in downtown Phoenix, specializes in elaborate and colorful wedding and celebration cakes. Tirion Morris, The Arizona Republic, 27 Nov. 2021 In practice, however, this isn’t so much the promise of some new wave of Brookings Institutions or Liberty Universities but, rather, an elaborate and lucrative hustle. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 8 Nov. 2021 But that secular decline masks a few bright spots, such as an increase in demand for more elaborate and expensive cards. NBC News, 2 Nov. 2021 That’s exactly what happened in the very elaborate and certainly unprecedented Kaseya ransomware attack. Steve Durbin, Forbes, 27 Oct. 2021 Over the last decade, such events have mushroomed, growing more elaborate and colorful each year. Elaine Ayala, San Antonio Express-News, 25 Oct. 2021 In addition to trying to bring students up academically, school officials are also tasked with overseeing elaborate and time-consuming safety protocols. Los Angeles Times, 21 Oct. 2021 The elaborate and exuberant set of nearly 200 pieces, molded from clay and hand-painted in vibrant colors, was made by a woman in a craft shop in Caracas more than 50 years ago. Washington Post, 18 Oct. 2021 Trying to imbue joyful nonsense with deeper meaning — each song represents a different planet — is emblematic of the album as a whole: overly elaborate and intellectually hollow. Mike Wass, Variety, 15 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The county attorney's office declined to elaborate. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, 1 Dec. 2021 Rolovich, the first major college coach to lose his job over vaccination status, claimed a religious exemption but has declined to elaborate. Fox News, 24 Oct. 2021 Officials at the department, which oversees the IRS, said the administration is committed to simplifying tax filing but declined to elaborate. Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times, 21 Oct. 2021 Psaki declined to elaborate on what a diplomatic boycott could look like. Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY, 18 Nov. 2021 Jaguars right tackle Antawn Lewis, who was standing nearby and briefly grabbed Spurlin by the shoulder before the incident escalated into punches thrown, spoke to the media after Tuesday’s practice, but declined to elaborate on the events. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, 16 Nov. 2021 Intel declined to elaborate on its plans and would not say what share of its workforce is already vaccinated. oregonlive, 12 Nov. 2021 Apple said the cloth was made of a nonwoven microfiber but declined to elaborate. New York Times, 29 Oct. 2021 Rolovich, the first major college coach to lose his job over vaccination status, claimed a religious exemption but has declined to elaborate. BostonGlobe.com, 23 Oct. 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

2 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Elaborate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elaborate. Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

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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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