American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Having many complexly arranged elements; elaborate. See Synonyms at elaborate.
- adj. Solvable or comprehensible only with painstaking effort. See Synonyms at complex.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Perplexingly involved or entangled; hard to disentangle or disengage, or to trace out; complicated; obscure: as, an intricate knot; the intricate windings of a labyrinth; intricate accounts; the intricate plot of a tragedy.
- In entomology, having unequal elevations and depressions placed irregularly and close together, but without running into each other: said of a sculptured surface. Synonyms Intricate, Complex, Complicated, Compound. Between complex and complicated there is the same difference as between complexity and complication. (See
complication.) That is complex which is made up of many parts, whose relation is perhaps not easily comprehended; if this latter be true, especially if it be true to a marked degree, the thing is said to be complicated; it is also complicatedif its parts have become entangled: as, the matter was still further complicated by their failure to protest against the seizure. That is intricate which, like a labyrinth, makes decision with regard to the right path or course to pursue difficult: as, an intricate question. Compound generally implies a mixture or union of parts in some way that makes a whole: as, a compound flower; compound motion; a compound idea; the word does not, like the others, suggest difficulty in comprehension. See implicate.
- To render intricate or involved; make perplexing or obscure.
- v. intransitive To become enmeshed or entangled.
- v. transitive To enmesh or entangle: to cause to intricate.
- adj. Having a great deal of fine detail or complexity.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Entangled; involved; perplexed; complicated; difficult to understand, follow, arrange, or adjust
- v. obsolete To entangle; to involve; to make perplexing.
- adj. having many complexly arranged elements; elaborate.
- From Latin intricatus (past participle of intricare). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English from Latin intrīcātus, past participle of intrīcāre, to entangle, perplex : in-, in; see in-2 + trīcae, perplexities, wiles. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“In case you missed the details: Camping's latest Doomsday prediction stemmed from what he described as an intricate mathematical formulation taken directly from numbers in the Bible.”
“It's true that Gene Wolfe's command of prose is very good, and his far-future Earth-in-decline is worked out in intricate and suggestive detail.”
“The old man thrust out his tongue; and, to Pool's amazement, he saw the surface of that sensitive organ, from root to tip, tattooed in intricate designs.”
“Zero stats offered for this assertion, despite Tino explaining in intricate detail all the externalities.”
“Carbon nanotube arrays can also be grown in intricate patterns using metal masks.”
“For a moment, too, he lingers on Barry Lyndon, which reconstructs a lost world in intricate detail.”
“You are a desperate cry to God, moulded in intricate word-craftmanship.”
“However, Data General had to field a suitable machine fairly soon, because customers get married to computer companies in intricate ways, and once they've married elsewhere they're often gone for good.”
“So tortuous and intricate is the channel leading to the forts that the most experienced pilots of the harbour would not venture to bring in a vessel by night, under the conditions which the enemy cannot escape, viz. -- without light or landmark to guide the way.”
“I think you ought to check this one out, because it does contain the story about the candlestick robbery, and the pictures could definitely be called "intricate" -- lots of visual humour.”
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