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 Splaying out some 18 feet from the base of their trunks and digging deep into the soil, the roots were sturdy, branched, and intricate, with delicate rootlets splaying from their tips. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "The World’s Oldest Forest Has 385-Million-Year-Old Tree Roots," 20 Dec. 2019 But this year, three seemingly straightforward one-person plays proved intricate, unpredictable and often astonishing. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Best Theater of 2019," 3 Dec. 2019 The intricate, would-be job was first contracted by real estate developer Tan Youhui in October 2013, who, according to CNN, wanted to kill a rival developer who sued his company over a dispute over a development. Joshua Bote, USA TODAY, "Hitman outsourced a murder to hitman, who hired hitman, who hired hitman, who hired hitman," 25 Oct. 2019 What results is a captivating blend that is soulful and intricate, foreign and familiar. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Indo-Pak Coalition boldly leaps jazz and South Asian music borders, with a distant nod to Barry Manilow," 5 Oct. 2019 But that didn’t make having to craft all of the intricate, individual looks backstage inside the Opéra Bastille any less chaotic. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "At Dries Van Noten, Blade Runner Eyes and Feather Bangs Cause a Frenzy," 26 Sep. 2019 Mootness doctrine is intricate, and perhaps this ploy will succeed. David B. Kopel, National Review, "Heller’s Precarious Situation," 12 Sep. 2019 Still further along, women socialize in front of a wall covered in an intricate black-and-white abstract pattern. BostonGlobe.com, "“You have to pass by him in order to work in the Médina,” said one of the street artists, Doline Legrand Diop. “He functions a bit like a curator.”," 24 Nov. 2019 The intricate, anti-geometric patterns could be close-ups of everyday phenomena, perhaps as glimpsed through a microscope. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, "In the galleries: Exhibits ‘Of This World’ and beyond," 22 Nov. 2019

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

9 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Intricate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intricateness. Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for intricate

intricate

adjective
How to pronounce intricate (audio)

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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