Thesaurus

complex

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of complex

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 having many parts or aspects that are usually interrelated
  • this medical device is a complex instrument that requires careful handling
  • complex issues regarding free speech and school discipline

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2 made or done with great care or with much detail
  • a complex plan for evacuating the city in the event of a natural disaster

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complex

noun

Synonyms of complex (Entry 2 of 3)

1 a structure that is designed and built for a particular purpose
  • an apartment complex

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2 something made up of many interdependent or related parts
  • a complex of government programs designed to assist the needy

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complex

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of complex (Entry 3 of 3)

to make complex or difficult
  • there's no need to complex what should be a simple process for obtaining a building permit

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About complex

How does the adjective complex differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of complex are complicated, intricate, involved, and knotty. While all these words 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

When is complicated a more appropriate choice than complex?

While the synonyms complicated and complex are close in meaning, complicated applies to what offers great difficulty in understanding, solving, or explaining.

complicated legal procedures

When might intricate be a better fit than complex?

The synonyms intricate and complex are sometimes interchangeable, but intricate suggests such interlacing of parts as to make it nearly impossible to follow or grasp them separately.

an intricate web of deceit

When is it sensible to use involved instead of complex?

Although the words involved and complex have much in common, involved implies extreme complication and often disorder.

a rambling, involved explanation

When would knotty be a good substitute for complex?

While in some cases nearly identical to complex, knotty suggests complication and entanglement that make solution or understanding improbable.

knotty ethical questions

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Time Traveler for complex

Time Traveler

The first known use of complex was in 1643

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Cite this Entry

“Complex.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/complex. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on complex

Dictionary: Definition of complex

Medical Dictionary: Definition of complex

Nglish: Translation of complex for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of complex for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about complex

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