intricate

adjective
in·​tri·​cate | \ˈin-tri-kət \

Definition of intricate 

1 : having many complexly interrelating parts or elements : complicated intricate machinery an intricate plot

2 : difficult to resolve or analyze

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Other Words from intricate

intricately adverb
intricateness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for intricate

complex, complicated, intricate, involved, knotty mean having confusingly interrelated parts. complex suggests the unavoidable result of a necessary combining and does not imply a fault or failure. a complex recipe complicated applies to what offers great difficulty in understanding, solving, or explaining. complicated legal procedures intricate suggests such interlacing of parts as to make it nearly impossible to follow or grasp them separately. an intricate web of deceit involved implies extreme complication and often disorder. a rambling, involved explanation knotty suggests complication and entanglement that make solution or understanding improbable. knotty ethical questions

Examples of intricate in a Sentence

Filigree is an ancient technique that creates an intricate, lace-like pattern through the combination of wire swirls and shapes. — Jeanne Rhodes-Moen, Step by Step Wire Jewelry, Fall 2007 Tsunami generation involves intricate interactions among earthquakes, landslides, and "sympathetic" vibrations between the quake and the ocean above it. — Robert Koenig, Science, 17 Aug. 2001 However, other random processes can be quite intricate; for example, the fluctuating prices of stocks are difficult to explain because there are so many variables and combinations of variables that are influencing the prices. — Lloyd Jaisingh, Statistics for the Utterly Confused, 2000 The movie has an intricate plot. an intricate machine that requires some training to use it properly
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Recent Examples on the Web

The intricate pattern covers much of her face and also wraps around her eyes. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Bella Hadid Stars in Dior’s Halloween-Inspired Short Film," 18 Oct. 2018 Hernandez’s eye is always drawn to intricate patterns and textures, often similar to that which is found in her own artwork. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "Artist Mengly Hernandez on Her Daughter’s Purse Collection and Wearing Kimonos to Work," 14 Aug. 2018 For the Stepanyan sisters, who are participants at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival this summer, once each row is completed, individual strands of thread will be knotted around pairs of warp threads, varying the colors to make intricate patterns. Glenn Dixon, Smithsonian, "The Age-Old Tradition of Armenian Carpet Making Refuses to Be Swept Under the Rug," 6 July 2018 On its float, Eskenazi Health positioned the Sandra Eskenazi Outpatient Care Center next to the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital, complete with its intricate window pattern. Domenica Bongiovanni, Indianapolis Star, "Indy Pride: 7 proud moments that stood out at the parade," 9 June 2018 Handmade in Kenya, the beaded leather slip-ons had a distinctive look, with intricate, colorful patterns. Kelly Bastone, Outside Online, "Wazi Sandals Look and Do Good," 19 Apr. 2018 Portland architect Rick Potestio created the intricate tile pattern on the floor. Michael Russell, OregonLive.com, "Nostrana chef Cathy Whims is opening a Euro-style wine bar, and it's gorgeous," 5 Apr. 2018 Even though the Alexander’s 362-car underground garage is accessed from Wood Street, its main pedestrian entrance faces a sprawling driveway and car drop-off, finished in an intricate pattern of gray pavers. Inga Saffron, Philly.com, "These two new Philadelphia apartment buildings are civilizing the Vine Street Expressway," 4 Apr. 2018 While Meghan has always been envied for her incredible ring game, the royal tour has been an opportunity for the Duchess to showcase some intricate, and surprising, necklaces. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle's Unique Necklace Is a Symbol of Strength and Integrity," 31 Oct. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for intricate

Middle English, from Latin intricatus, past participle of intricare to entangle, from in- + tricae trifles, complications

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Statistics for intricate

Last Updated

27 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for intricate

The first known use of intricate was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for intricate

intricate

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of intricate

: having many parts

intricate

adjective
in·​tri·​cate | \ˈin-tri-kət \

Kids Definition of intricate

1 : having many closely combined parts or elements an intricate design

2 : very difficult to follow or understand an intricate plot

Other Words from intricate

intricately adverb

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Comments on intricate

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