elaborate

adjective
elab·​o·​rate | \ i-ˈla-b(ə-)rət How to pronounce elaborate (audio) \

Definition of elaborate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : planned or carried out with great care took elaborate precautions
2 : marked by complexity, fullness of detail, or ornateness elaborate prose

elaborate

verb
elab·​o·​rate | \ i-ˈla-bə-ˌrāt How to pronounce elaborate (audio) \
elaborated; elaborating

Definition of elaborate (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to expand something in detail would you care to elaborate on that statement
2 : to become elaborate (see elaborate entry 1)

transitive verb

1 : to work out in detail : develop elaborate a theory
2 : to produce by labor
3 : to build up (something, such as complex organic compounds) from simple ingredients

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Other Words from elaborate

Adjective

elaborately adverb
elaborateness noun

Verb

elaboration \ i-​ˌla-​bə-​ˈrā-​shən How to pronounce elaborate (audio) \ noun
elaborative \ i-​ˈla-​bə-​ˌrā-​tiv How to pronounce elaborate (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for elaborate

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of elaborate in a Sentence

Adjective Jumping spiders, the largest family of spiders, have excellent eyesight and perform elaborate courtship and threat displays, often characterized by ritualized body postures and leg waving. — Simon Pollard, Natural History, March 1995 Mostly, I think, because it's wicked hot today, I've been having elaborate fantasies about the perfect hot-weather lunch: two dozen freshly opened Little Necks and a couple bottles of ice-cold lager. None of that red "cocktail" sauce on 'em either, just lemon and coarse black pepper. — Vladimir Estragon, Waiting for Dessert, 1982 On the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread, appeared the letter A. — Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter, 1850 They made elaborate preparations for his visit. I see now that her behavior was all part of an elaborate plan. The dancers were wearing elaborate costumes. He told the story in elaborate detail. Verb … the National Weather Service … advised all citizens in New Orleans's water-filled neighborhoods "to take the necessary tools for survival." The Weather Service elaborated: "Those going into attics should try to take an axe or hatchet with them so they can cut their way onto the roof to avoid drowning should rising flood waters continue to rise into the attic." — Christopher Cooper & Robert Block, Diaster, 2006 In each evening's sleep sustained dream scenarios, elaborated over periods lasting up to an hour, alternate with thought-like mentation in 90-minute-cycles. — Jeffrey Saver, London Review of Books, 4 Aug. 1988 I'll be glad to elaborate if you want to hear more. She was asked to say more about her earlier statements, but she declined to elaborate.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The prominent attorney is accused of an elaborate suicide-for-hire scheme aiming to release a $10 million life insurance policy to his only living son. Ryan Miller, USA TODAY, 16 Sep. 2021 The responses are surprisingly similar across the winding path through the market: raw or in salads, sauteed with olive oil with maybe onion or garlic and, at its most elaborate, a pasta sauce with all the ingredients and herbs thrown in. Washington Post, 4 Aug. 2021 The concept of going on a picnic has been around for a long time, but in recent years, this favorite pastime has gone from tradition to trend, with elaborate, Instagram-worthy setups becoming more popular. Jessica Poitevien, Travel + Leisure, 31 July 2021 The national media has done the same claiming Jackson has the arm strength but needs better receivers around him and a more elaborate passing scheme. Mike Preston, baltimoresun.com, 27 July 2021 So the White House has hatched an elaborate Rube Goldberg scheme by which the identities of buyers and bidders will be hidden from Hunter Biden — and the rest of the world. John Fund, National Review, 11 July 2021 Greenberg has since confessed to carrying out an elaborate scheme to destroy Beute’s reputation, using bogus social media accounts and anonymous letters to tar his political opponent as a white supremacist and child abuser. Orlando Sentinel Podcasts, orlandosentinel.com, 2 July 2021 One of its latest productions, which has received 117 million views on YouTube, claimed that a lavish palace on the shores of the Black Sea was built for Putin through an elaborate corruption scheme. Fox News, 10 June 2021 One of its latest productions, which has received 117 million views on YouTube, claimed that a lavish palace on the shores of the Black Sea was built for Putin through an elaborate corruption scheme. Vladimir Isachenkov, chicagotribune.com, 9 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Trauth did not elaborate on her diagnosis or treatment plan and was not immediately available for comment Friday. Annie Blanks, San Antonio Express-News, 17 Sep. 2021 Wang didn't elaborate, but appeared to be referring to the joint military exercises conducted by the United States and South Korea last month. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 16 Sep. 2021 Peskov didn't elaborate on how long Putin would remain in self-isolation. David Aaro, Fox News, 14 Sep. 2021 Jeremy Alsup said there was no indication that robbery was the suspect’s prime motive, but the authorities did not elaborate on why the bank may have been targeted. al, 18 May 2021 The cards can be used for prescription drugs co-pays, the official said, but didn’t elaborate. Riley Griffin, Bloomberg.com, 25 Sep. 2020 The department did not elaborate when asked about the structure of this oversight. Tess Vrbin, Arkansas Online, 5 Sep. 2021 Hamouda did not elaborate on the circumstances of the son’s release. Samy Magdy, chicagotribune.com, 5 Sep. 2021 In an interview earlier this year, JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio did not elaborate on what could shift in the district's proposal before a school board vote. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, 3 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elaborate.' 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 elaborate

Adjective

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1611, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

History and Etymology for elaborate

Adjective and Verb

Latin elaboratus, from past participle of elaborare to work out, acquire by labor, from e- + laborare to work — more at laboratory

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Time Traveler for elaborate

Time Traveler

The first known use of elaborate was in 1592

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Dictionary Entries Near elaborate

El'brus

elaborate

elaborater

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Statistics for elaborate

Last Updated

21 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Elaborate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elaborate. Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for elaborate

elaborate

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of elaborate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: made or done with great care or with much detail : having many parts that are carefully arranged or planned

elaborate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of elaborate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give more details about something : to discuss something more fully
: to bring (something, such as an idea or a plan) to a more advanced or developed state

elaborate

adjective
elab·​o·​rate | \ i-ˈla-bə-rət How to pronounce elaborate (audio) , -ˈla-brət \

Kids Definition of elaborate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: made or done with great care or with much detail an elaborate ceremony

Other Words from elaborate

elaborately adverb

elaborate

verb
elab·​o·​rate | \ i-ˈla-bə-ˌrāt How to pronounce elaborate (audio) \
elaborated; elaborating

Kids Definition of elaborate (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to give more details about Would you elaborate on what happened?
2 : to work out in detail He elaborated his ideas.

elaborate

transitive verb
elab·​o·​rate | \ i-ˈlab-ə-ˌrāt How to pronounce elaborate (audio) \
elaborated; elaborating

Medical Definition of elaborate

of a living organism
: to alter the chemical makeup of (as a foodstuff) to one more suited to bodily needs (as of assimilation or excretion) especially : to build up (complex organic compounds) from simple ingredients the toxin elaborated by the tetanus bacterium

More from Merriam-Webster on elaborate

Nglish: Translation of elaborate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of elaborate for Arabic Speakers

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