adjective in·tri·cate \ ˈin-tri-kət \
|Updated on: 7 Aug 2018

Definition of intricate

1 : having many complexly interrelating parts or elements : complicated
  • intricate machinery
  • an intricate plot
2 : difficult to resolve or analyze





Examples of intricate in a Sentence

  1. Filigree is an ancient technique that creates an intricate, lace-like pattern through the combination of wire swirls and shapes. —Jeanne Rhodes-MoenStep by Step Wire JewelryFall 2007
  2. Tsunami generation involves intricate interactions among earthquakes, landslides, and "sympathetic" vibrations between the quake and the ocean above it. —Robert KoenigScience17 Aug. 2001
  3. 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 JaisinghStatistics for the Utterly Confused2000
  4. The movie has an intricate plot.

  5. an intricate machine that requires some training to use it properly

Recent Examples of intricate from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of intricate

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

INTRICATE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of intricate for English Language Learners

  • : having many parts

INTRICATE Defined for Kids


adjective in·tri·cate \ ˈin-tri-kət \

Definition of intricate for Students

1 : having many closely combined parts or elements
  • an intricate design
2 : very difficult to follow or understand
  • an intricate plot



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having an air of easy unconcern

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