intricate

adjective
in·​tri·​cate | \ ˈin-tri-kət How to pronounce intricate (audio) \

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

Queen Elizabeth's late mother, Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon, was an intricate part of the royal family and played a key role in grooming Queen Elizabeth to take over the crown after her father, George VI, died in 1952. Morgan M. Evans, Fox News, "Meghan Markle's 37th birthday has a special meaning for the Queen," 31 July 2018 One seasoned player temporarily fled the studio after deciding that one of Mr. Braxton’s intricate parts was unplayable. Seth Colter Walls, New York Times, "High School Musicians Take On the (Almost) Unplayable," 8 June 2018 The songs are strictly post-punk with intricate guitar parts that toggle between heavy riffs and arpeggios, high-energy drums, and low-key vocal hooks. Aaron Carnes, sacbee, "Sacramento rock band explores weighty issues of loss, death and innocence," 1 June 2018 Most of them are painfully intricate, which explains the huge price tags on these watches. Popular Mechanics, "The Tiny Machines That Make Watches Beautiful (and Expensive)," 19 Feb. 2015 Burberry, which built a $3.8-billion-a-year business selling a muted output of cashmere scarves and trench coats, will now be helmed by an Italian designer whose intricate lace-and-sequin gowns often blur the line between red carpet and lingerie. Robert Williams, Bloomberg.com, "Burberry Turns to a Designer Who Befriended the Kardashians," 1 Mar. 2018 An intricate Richard Marquis work (circa 2003) is less than 10 inches high. Peter Saenger, WSJ, "Clearly, Florida Is a Showcase for Glass Art," 26 Dec. 2018 The designer described the intricate work that went into the piece on his Instagram. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Priyanka Chopra & Nick Jonas' Wedding: Everything You Need to Know," 4 Dec. 2018 The game models are expertly designed with plenty of attention to detail—the intricate work put into the figures help to illustrate the workings of the game. Giaco Furino, Popular Mechanics, "Gear Up for Ghostbustin' Mania with the Ghostbusters Board Game," 13 July 2016

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

17 Apr 2019

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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 How to pronounce intricate (audio) \

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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