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

Lower cycles per degree resulted in blurrier scenes, suggesting, for example, that a spider web’s intricate design serves as a warning for birds to change their flight path while remaining virtually invisible to house flies and other insect prey. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "How Does Your Vision Compare to Other Critters in the Animal Kingdom?," 7 June 2018 Along the way, the reader gets a lesson in the intricate and incestuous marriages of not just the Russian royal family but all the houses of Europe. Mary Cadden, USA TODAY, "Empress Maria heads juicy Russian cast in historical novel about the Romanovs," 12 July 2018 Cheers erupted from the dozens of volunteers and journalists awaiting news of whether the intricate and high-risk rescue mission had succeeded. Kaweewit Kaewjinda And Stephen Wright, Houston Chronicle, "'Everyone is safe' after daring rescue of 13 in Thai cave," 11 July 2018 Cheers erupted at a local government office where dozens of volunteers and journalists were awaiting news of whether the intricate and high-risk rescue mission had succeeded. Anchorage Daily News, "After daring rescue, entire Thai soccer team is out of cave," 10 July 2018 Cheers erupted at a local government office where dozens of volunteers and journalists were awaiting news of whether the intricate and high-risk rescue mission had succeeded. Kaweewit Kaewjinda And Stephen Wright, The Christian Science Monitor, "After 18 days, entire Thai soccer team rescued from cave," 10 July 2018 Cheers erupted from the dozens of volunteers and journalists awaiting news of whether the intricate and high-risk rescue mission had succeeded. Kaweewit Kaewjinda, The Seattle Times, "‘Everyone is safe’ after daring rescue of 13 in Thai cave," 10 July 2018 The forging of a katana was an intricate and ritualized affair. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "The Entire History of Steel," 9 July 2018 In his work, Mack creates intricate compositions that echo aspects of movement and the urban grid, while Hudson’s works evoke the topographic — mapping devastation and rejuvenation. Carolina A. Miranda, latimes.com, "Datebook: Shots of old Route 66, dreamlike paintings and garments fashioned from paper," 12 July 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

16 Oct 2018

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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 \

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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