in·​tri·​ca·​cy | \ ˈin-tri-kə-sē How to pronounce intricacy (audio) \
plural intricacies

Definition of intricacy

1 : the quality or state of being intricate
2 : something intricate the intricacies of a plot

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Examples of intricacy in a Sentence

She admired the composition for its beauty and intricacy. I had trouble following all the intricacies in the plot. the intricacies of English grammar
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Recent Examples on the Web Gillispie’s sculptures and Krimes’s wall mural—in their miniature intricacy and massive scale, respectively—offer physical testimony to all the hours that went into making them. Leslie Jamison, The Atlantic, "The Breathtaking Ingenuity of Incarcerated Artists," 7 Feb. 2021 The intricacy of their relationship, with her complicity in his crimes, and his complicity in her illusions, was rivetingly realistic. Matthew Gilbert,, "TV’s most authentic couples, for better or worse," 5 Feb. 2021 Similarly, the level of detail and intricacy in a drawing may entice some kids and turn off others. Anthony Marcusa,, "The best coloring book for kids," 22 Dec. 2020 There are 2,598,960 possible hands in five-card poker, a figure that vastly understates the game’s intricacy. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "Longreads Best of 2020: Sports and Games," 2 May 2012 Her ukulele playing and her phrasing, the intricacy and the detail are spot on. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, "Joni Mitchell’s Youthful Artistry," 29 Nov. 2020 Pets were judged on the intricacy and creativity of their costume. cleveland, "See the 20 Best Pet Halloween Costume finalists; Vote for your favorite (photos, poll)," 26 Oct. 2020 Every Victorian intricacy of its exterior corresponds with some interesting and clever space within, especially the cupolas and dormers for the upper rooms. Ian Mcnulty | Staff Writer,, "The Chloe, Uptown mansion turned hotel, opens with ‘21st century New Orleans hospitality’," 15 Oct. 2020 Memory is woven into the consciousness of the novel, which takes place over the course of decades, with dreamlike intricacy typical of Clegg’s effortless storytelling. Khrysgiana Pineda, USA TODAY, "Review: Bill Clegg's 'The End of the Day' a story of friendship, love and memory," 30 Sep. 2020

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

1602, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for intricacy

Time Traveler

The first known use of intricacy was in 1602

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Statistics for intricacy

Last Updated

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Intricacy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for intricacy



English Language Learners Definition of intricacy

: the quality or state of being complex or having many parts : the quality or state of being intricate
: something that is complex or detailed : something intricate


in·​tri·​ca·​cy | \ ˈin-tri-kə-sē How to pronounce intricacy (audio) \
plural intricacies

Kids Definition of intricacy

1 : the quality or state of being complex or having many parts
2 : something that is complex or has many parts

More from Merriam-Webster on intricacy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for intricacy

Nglish: Translation of intricacy for Spanish Speakers

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