in·​volved in-ˈvälvd How to pronounce involved (audio)
 also  -ˈvävd,
 or  -ˈvȯvd
: having a part in something : included in something
unable to identify those who were involved
She was involved in a lawsuit.
: actively participating in something
an involved citizen active in local politics
: having a romantic or sexual relationship
warned her not to get romantically involved
: marked by extreme and often needless or excessive complexity
a long and involved story
: 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
: being affected or implicated
… dealing with … the most severely involved patientsR. J. Thomas
obsolete : involute, twisted
in-ˈväl-vəd-lē How to pronounce involved (audio)
 also  -ˈvä-vəd-
 or  -ˈvȯ-
Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Example Sentences

a long and involved story The instructions for assembling the toy are very involved. The process is quite involved. Those of us who were involved knew exactly what happened. Students who stay involved get more out of the program. If you want to make things better, you need to get involved. They quickly became romantically involved. No one knew that they were involved. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The year Jefferson died, six of the nine inspections that OSHA initiated ultimately were not done because the farms were too small to fall under the agency’s jurisdiction; three of those six involved fatalities. Melissa Sanchez, ProPublica, 10 Mar. 2023 In addition, Muslim characters are all but absent, even though they were heavily involved in India’s fight for freedom. Sakshi Venkatraman, NBC News, 9 Mar. 2023 The state became involved after residents started calling Newsom’s office and the Office of Emergency Services and reaching out on social media for help, said Brian Ferguson, a spokesperson for the state Office of Emergency Services. Los Angeles Times, 4 Mar. 2023 Meanwhile, they were mostly very involved, often working for the American government doing war work, maybe doing drug research on behalf of the defense department, maybe making ARPANET whatever, but mostly building nuclear missiles. The Politics Of Everything, The New Republic, 1 Mar. 2023 Instead, head coach Mike Budenholzer should look to get Bobby Portis more involved. Morten Stig Jensen, Forbes, 31 Dec. 2022 Elevated Plank Row Use the bench to train your lats in a different way—and get your core more involved too. David Otey, Men's Health, 28 Dec. 2022 According to the attorneys general, designating the synthetic opioid as a WMD would get the Defense Department and Department of Homeland Security more involved. Courtland Milloy, Washington Post, 27 Dec. 2022 The schedule softens considerably going forward for Tampa Bay, which should present opportunities to get the rookie more involved. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


from past participle of involve

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Time Traveler
The first known use of involved was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near involved

Cite this Entry

“Involved.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: very complicated
a long and involved story

More from Merriam-Webster on involved

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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