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[kom-pli-key-tid] /ˈkɒm plɪˌkeɪ tɪd/
composed of elaborately interconnected parts; complex:
complicated apparatus for measuring brain functions.
difficult to analyze, understand, explain, etc.:
a complicated problem.
Origin of complicated
1640-50; complicate + -ed2
Related forms
complicatedly, adverb
complicatedness, noun
uncomplicated, adjective
2. involved, tangled, knotty.


[v. kom-pli-keyt; adj. kom-pli-kit] /v. ˈkɒm plɪˌkeɪt; adj. ˈkɒm plɪ kɪt/
verb (used with object), complicated, complicating.
to make complex, intricate, involved, or difficult:
His recovery from the operation was complicated by an allergic reaction.
complex; involved.
Entomology. folded longitudinally one or more times, as the wings of certain insects.
1615-25; < Latin complicātus (past participle of complicāre to fold together), equivalent to com- com- + -plic- (combining form of *plecāre to fold, akin to plectī to plait; see complex) + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
overcomplicate, verb (used with object), overcomplicated, overcomplicating.
precomplicate, verb (used with object), precomplicated, precomplicating.
recomplicate, verb (used with object), recomplicated, recomplicating.
uncomplicate, verb (used with object), uncomplicated, uncomplicating. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for complicated
  • Psychology often takes simple behavioral data and tries to make it more complicated and sophisticated.
  • Improving yeast-ethanol tolerance is difficult because it is a complicated trait involving many genes.
  • Of course, it's more complicated than that, but not by much when.
  • New research suggests that appealing to feminine tastes throughout the animal kingdom is more complicated than anyone anticipated.
  • More complicated than they look, teeth are actually tiny organs.
  • The origins of great inventions are generally more complicated than they appear.
  • Made traditionally, they always strike me as overly complicated.
  • Age ratings are more complicated than they first appear, especially if you are a parent who is new to gaming.
  • Friendship can be troublingly complicated in day-to-day life.
  • Fighting famine is complicated by old rivalries and alliances.
British Dictionary definitions for complicated


made up of intricate parts or aspects that are difficult to understand or analyse
Derived Forms
complicatedly, adverb
complicatedness, noun


verb (ˈkɒmplɪˌkeɪt)
to make or become complex
adjective (ˈkɒmplɪkɪt)
(biology) folded on itself: a complicate leaf
a less common word for complicated
Word Origin
C17: from Latin complicāre to fold together, from plicāre to fold
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for complicated

1640s, "tangled," from past participle adjective from complicate. Figurative meaning "not easy to solve, intricate, confused, difficult to unravel" is from 1650s.



1620s, "to intertwine" (as a past participle adjective, early 15c.), from Latin complicatus "folded together; confused, intricate," past participle of complicare (see complication). Meaning "to make more complex" is recorded from 1832, from earlier sense "to combine in a complex way" (17c.). Related: Complicated; complicating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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