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

The actress opted for a Claes Iversen all-black look, consisting of a lace trench coat, featuring intricate embroidery, and a chunky leather belt. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Amber Heard Just Hit the Red Carpet Without a Skirt and I'm Into It," 28 Apr. 2019 And what does one pick to accessorize something so delicate and intricate? Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "All the Details of Priyanka Chopra's Exquisite Ralph Lauren Wedding Dress," 5 Dec. 2018 From a prior odds perspective, the likelihood of a plot so enormous and intricate coming together out of all other conceivable possibilities is vanishingly small. Liv Boeree, Vox, "How an 18th-century priest gave us the tools to make better decisions," 30 Nov. 2018 There is truly a very long and intricate history of white supremacy that lurks beneath the bricks and sidewalks that the people of Charlottesville inhabit daily. Zyahna Bryant, Teen Vogue, "One Year Since Charlottesville: How the City Has Reckoned with Its White Supremacist, Racist History," 7 Aug. 2018 Gowns were threaded with intricate embroidery, either strapless with metallic threads of gold or silver, or with puffed sleeves and kaleidoscopic combinations of pinks, reds and purples. Elizabeth Paton, New York Times, "A Woman’s Rodeo, Designed by Dior," 26 May 2018 But in subsequent years, authorities uncovered an intricate criminal plot and concluded Wells was no pure victim. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, "After Robbing a Bank Wearing a Bomb, a Pizza Guy Was Told to Go on a Scavenger Hunt to Save Himself," 22 May 2018 Martin's book is faithful to the film's intricate plot to a fault, with one key difference: Hooker is now African-American, which was apparently the screenwriter's original intention. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Sting': Theater Review," 9 Apr. 2018 Queen Elizabeth's late mother, Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon, was an intricate part of the royal family and played a key role in grooming Queen Elizabeth to take over the crown after her father, George VI, died in 1952. Morgan M. Evans, Fox News, "Meghan Markle's 37th birthday has a special meaning for the Queen," 31 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

15 May 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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