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 brand's simple and unassuming design goes well with more intricate pieces too, as Meghan likes to wear three or four rings on her hand at a time. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's Top 5 Favorite Jewelry Brands of All Time," 2 Jan. 2019 The quilt and shams have a pinsonic stitching, which is done by machine instead of hand and uses heat instead of stitches, allowing for a more intricate design. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Quilt Sets for a Cozy Night's Sleep, According to Textile Experts," 20 Dec. 2018 With the minimalist body art trend holding steady, the inky designs propose an elegant, more intricate alternative to the simplistic stick-and-poke tattoos of today. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "6 Beauty Moments That Ruled the New York Runways This Weekend," 10 Sep. 2018 Pleasure planet Venus travels from glittery heart-on-sleeve Leo into the more intricate, witchy woods of Virgo, and Virgo’s ruler Mercury stations retrograde at the end of the month. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Monthly Lovescopes July 2018," 2 July 2018 The web of intrigue involving Broidy, Nader, Team Trump and the two powerful Gulf states grew more intricate as 2017 progressed. Will Bunch, Philly.com, "Is this Playboy model keeping the biggest secret of the Trump presidency? | Will Bunch," 22 May 2018 Leaving the neighborhood also means packing up their life the city and moving it to the Oakland, a process made even more intricate with two young kids in tow. Justin Phillips, San Francisco Chronicle, "How FOB Kitchen found a home at Juhu Beach Club in Oakland," 1 Mar. 2018 The sixth and final level of the game, set in an advanced medical facility in the snowy mountains Hokkaido, was the game’s most intricate and impressive. Nick Statt, The Verge, "How Hitman 2’s developers turned its gigantic levels into ever-evolving playgrounds," 18 Oct. 2018 Many of the show’s main characters are fat and plus-size women, and their storylines are often profoundly intricate and different from one another, none centered on themes of weight loss or self-loathing. Mariana Viera, Teen Vogue, "10 Body Positive Shows to Watch," 5 Sep. 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

6 Feb 2019

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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