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

Creating one of the most successful and intricate cinematic universes in history was no easy feat, Feige said. Sonaiya Kelley, latimes.com, "Spider-Man team spills secrets of ‘Far From Home’ post-credits scenes and Marvel’s future," 7 July 2019 The production designer, Henrik Svensson, has built a truly frightening and intricate universe whose iconography is dominated by symmetry. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Midsommar Is a Nightmare in Broad Daylight," 5 July 2019 The fact that her line is pretty much the opposite of kimonos, consisting of formfitting shape-wear in skin tone colors rather than colorful and intricate silken robes, isn’t really helping the matter. Ephrat Livni, Quartzy, "Read the letter from Kyoto’s mayor to Kim Kardashian protesting “Kimono” shapewear," 30 June 2019 The Columbia-based nonprofit provides attorneys to help people navigate the intricate immigration processes, including obtaining green cards and petitioning for citizenship and asylum. Erin B. Logan, baltimoresun.com, "Howard immigration nonprofit looks into restructuring amid financial concerns," 20 June 2019 The metabolic breakdown of protein, fat, and fiber is a slower, more intricate process that both provides you with fuel from a biochemical POV, and the sensory experience of eating. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "Celery Juice "Benefits" Are Total B.S., According to Nutrition Science," 16 Jan. 2019 The touches of the poly-master, who died 500 years ago this May, include an intricate, intertwining wall-to-ceiling fresco. Michael J. Bailey, BostonGlobe.com, "In Milan, a low-tech saunter through a mecca of high fashion," 18 June 2019 Hughes writes intricate, highly conceptual music for a large ensemble that’s nonetheless full of hooks; Linde and his ensemble bring it smartly to life. Washington Post, "13 things to do in the D.C. area this week," 10 June 2019 That's not a bad thing in moderation; some prior seasons went a little overboard with the intricate plotting, multiple timelines, and resulting, baffling paradoxes. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Doctor Who wraps a solid season with its first female Time Lord," 12 Dec. 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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Learn More about intricate

Statistics for intricate

Last Updated

10 Jul 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 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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