adjective in·volved \ in-ˈvälvd , -ˈvȯlvd also -ˈvävd or -ˈvȯvd \
|Updated on: 20 Aug 2018

Definition of involved

1 a : having a part in something : included in something
  • unable to identify those who were involved
  • She was involved in a lawsuit.
b : actively participating in something
  • an involved citizen active in local politics
c : having a romantic or sexual relationship
  • warned her not to get romantically involved
2 a : marked by extreme and often needless or excessive complexity
  • a long and involved story
b : difficult to deal with because of complexity or disorder
  • Her husband had been extravagant; and at his death … had left his affairs dreadfully involved.
  • —Jane Austen
3 : being affected or implicated
  • … dealing with … the most severely involved patients
  • —R. J. Thomas
4 obsolete : involute, twisted


play \in-ˈväl-vəd-lē, -ˈvȯl- also -ˈvä-vəd- or -ˈvȯ-\ adverb

Examples of involved in a Sentence

  1. a long and involved story

  2. The instructions for assembling the toy are very involved.

  3. The process is quite involved.

  4. Those of us who were involved knew exactly what happened.

  5. Students who stay involved get more out of the program.

  6. If you want to make things better, you need to get involved.

  7. They quickly became romantically involved.

  8. No one knew that they were involved.

Recent Examples of involved from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'involved.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of involved

15th century

in the meaning defined at sense 4

See Words from the same year
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Synonym Discussion of involved

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

INVOLVED Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of involved for English Language Learners

  • : very complicated

  • : having a part in something : included in something

  • : actively participating in something

INVOLVED Defined for Kids


adjective in·volved \ in-ˈvälvd , -ˈvȯlvd \

Definition of involved for Students

: very complicated
  • He told a long involved story.

Seen and Heard

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