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as in facility
a structure that is designed and built for a particular purpose an apartment complex

Synonyms & Similar Words

as in system
something made up of many interdependent or related parts a complex of government programs designed to assist the needy

Synonyms & Similar Words


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complex systems
large systems
large-scale systems
hard systems
advanced systems
complex problems
intricate problems
tough problems
sophistical problems
convoluted problems
confusing problems
a complex structure
a difficult structure
a complicated structure
a detailed structure
a large structure
an elaborate structure
complex interactions
sophisticated interactions
detailed interactions
deep interactions
multiple interactions
several interactions
a complex process
a hard process
a long process
a massive process
an involved process
a huge process

Synonym Chooser

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

Thesaurus Entries Near complex

Cite this Entry

“Complex.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

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