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

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
Recent Examples on the Web Since the beginning of this year Ibaraki has finally revealed itself through a number of intricate and genre-bending singles, each of which eloquently show Heafy’s longstanding affinity for both the sub-genre and technical songwriting. Quentin Singer, Forbes, 2 May 2022 Alison, the creative director, makes the most intricate and stunning bespoke veils from Italy. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, 28 Apr. 2022 In regressing to Shakespeare before Shakespeare, Eggers replaces intricate and complex poetry with thudding banalities. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 21 Apr. 2022 She skips between honeyed, heartfelt trills and mind-bogglingly meticulous flows, intricate and acrobatic. Mankaprr Conteh, Rolling Stone, 24 Mar. 2022 The goal is to develop in the next several years a robot that makes the intricate and delicate work of suturing more consistent. Meredith Cohn, Baltimore Sun, 22 Mar. 2022 Liz shared long, intricate and perfectly punctuated questions and answers on topics that meandered in every direction, all in a single text. Alvaro Aragon, Los Angeles Times, 11 Mar. 2022 His run included an intricate and unprecedented series of flips and spins that pushed a sport obsessed with progression to new heights. Pat Graham, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Feb. 2022 His run included an intricate and unprecedented series of flips and spins that pushed a sport obsessed with progression to new heights. CBS News, 10 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for intricate

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

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Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Intricate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for intricate


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

More from Merriam-Webster on intricate

Nglish: Translation of intricate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of intricate for Arabic Speakers


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