from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Consisting of interconnected or interwoven parts; composite.
  • adj. Composed of two or more units: a complex carbohydrate.
  • adj. Involved or intricate, as in structure; complicated.
  • adj. Grammar Consisting of at least one bound form. Used of a word.
  • adj. Grammar Consisting of an independent clause and at least one other independent or dependent clause. Used of a sentence.
  • n. A whole composed of interconnected or interwoven parts: a complex of cities and suburbs; the military-industrial complex.
  • n. In psychology, a group of related, often repressed ideas and impulses that compel characteristic or habitual patterns of thought, feelings, and behavior. No longer in scientific use.
  • n. An exaggerated or obsessive concern or fear.
  • n. Medicine The combination of factors, symptoms, or signs of a disease or disorder that forms a syndrome.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Made up of multiple parts; intricate or detailed.
  • adj. Not simple or straightforward.
  • adj. Of a number, of the form a + bi, where a and b are real numbers and i is the square root of −1.
  • adj. A curve, polygon or other figure that crosses or intersects itself.
  • n. A problem.
  • n. A collection of buildings with a common purpose, such as a university or military base.
  • n. A psychologically based dislike or fear of a particular thing.
  • n. A thunderstorm that forms when two storm fronts collide.
  • n. A structure consisting of a central atom or molecule weakly connected to surrounding atoms or molecules.
  • v. To form a complex with another substance

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Composed of two or more parts; composite; not simple.
  • adj. Involving many parts; complicated; intricate.
  • n. Assemblage of related things; collection; complication.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Composed of interconnected parts; formed by a combination of simple things or elements; including two or more connected particulars; composite; not simple: as, a complex being; complex ideas; a complex term.
  • Involved; intricate; complicated; perplexing.
  • In the theory of numbers, any expression in the form ai + bj +, etc., where a, b, etc., are integers, and i, j, etc., are peculiar units.
  • To combine intricately; involve; mix up.
  • n. Anything consisting in or formed by the union of interconnected parts; especially, an assemblage of particulars related as parts of a system.
  • n. In geometry, a continuous, triply infinite system of infinite straight lines; the whole of any kind of forms in space fulfilling one condition: thus, all the lines that cut a given curve in space constitute a complex.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a conceptual whole made up of complicated and related parts
  • n. a compound described in terms of the central atom to which other atoms are bound or coordinated
  • n. a whole structure (as a building) made up of interconnected or related structures
  • adj. complicated in structure; consisting of interconnected parts
  • n. (psychoanalysis) a combination of emotions and impulses that have been rejected from awareness but still influence a person's behavior


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Latin complexus, past participle of complectī, to entwine; see complect.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French complexe, from Latin complexus, past participle of complectī ("to entwine, encircle, compass, infold"), from com- ("together") and plectere ("to weave, braid"). See complect.


  • Then is Perception, in the prefent way of confidering it, faid to be fimple, when the Objeft of it is fimple, and then complex when the Objeft of it is complex* And fince the intire and ade - quate Objeft of Thought (as will hereafter ap - pear) is cpmprifed within the compafs of Ideas and of their Relations, we may more explicitly fay that then is Perception fimple when it is tlie Contemplation of Ideas only, and then complex when with the Ideas it takes in alfo the Confideration of their Relations and effen - tial Habitudes.

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  • 78 Day 4 The variable z so defined has now a real and an imaginary part that can be individually addressed using, respectively, the syntax: __real__ z and __imag__ z Similarly, the next declaration produces a complex variable of 32-bit integer type: __complex__ int x;

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  • Their incoming top officer, General Jim Amos, recently told an audience the Corps has long been adept at quickly solving what he called complex and nasty security problems.

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  • CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Tony, U.S. officials are now telling CNN that the insurgents attacked these troops with what they call complex attacks, meaning that the insurgents used one or more roadside bombs in conjunction with small arms fire to attack the armored vehicles that these troops were riding in.

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  • The verbal use appears to be beakerspeak.

    December 18, 2015

  • complex number (n): (mathematics) a number of the form a+bi where a and b are real numbers and i is the square root of -1. The term "a" is the real part and the term "bi" is the imaginary part.

    May 13, 2008