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 This pandemic has revealed just how intricate and varied those relationships are. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: Education standards, reopening schools, Jan. 6 commission," 18 Feb. 2021 Because Clemson embraces using the QB as a rushing threat, the designs on pop passes can be intricate and hard to detect. cleveland, "Can Ohio State football find an answer to Clemson’s pressure offense after its 2019 experience? Film Analysis," 30 Dec. 2020 For the rest, his analysis is intricate and persuasive: Two fighter jets flown by mercenaries known to be operating in the skies over Ndola caused the crash. Edward Kosner, WSJ, "‘The Golden Thread’ Review: Who Killed Dag Hammarskjöld?," 21 Dec. 2020 With an eye for intricate details and enough dramatic glam to fill a lifetime, Yasuda's manicure skills are legendary in Hollywood circles. Tatjana Freund, Marie Claire, "24 Hours with Nail Artist Naomi Yasuda," 21 Jan. 2021 Despite alleviating that and other sanctions, the CAS arbitrators denounced Russia while once again laying out the intricate details of the plot to manipulate the lab data. Eddie Pells, Star Tribune, "'Cover up of cover-up' still led to downsized Russian ban," 13 Jan. 2021 Drummer Taylor Hawkins, best known for his cavernous and thudding backbeat, creates a slippery groove with an intricate hi-hat pattern, one of several places on the record where his contributions shine. Mark Richardson, WSJ, "‘Medicine at Midnight’ by Foo Fighters Review: Inviting More Genres to the Party," 25 Jan. 2021 Those giving out the vaccines are choreographing an intricate dance to ensure they are handled right. Bernard Condon, Star Tribune, "Lucky few hit COVID-19 vaccine jackpot for rare extra doses," 22 Jan. 2021 Diwali customs include rangoli, the traditional Indian art of using colorful sand, rice or other material to make intricate designs on the floor. Bh&g Holiday Editors, Better Homes & Gardens, "What Is Diwali? Here’s What to Know About the Holiday," 12 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for intricate

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for intricate

Last Updated

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Intricate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intricate. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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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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