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

  • transitive v. To make or become complex or perplexing.
  • transitive v. To twist or become twisted together.
  • adj. Complex, intricate, and involved.
  • adj. Biology Folded longitudinally one or several times, as certain leaves or the wings of some insects.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To fold or twist together; to combine intricately; to make complex; to combine or associate so as to make intricate or difficult.
  • v. to expose involvement in a convoluted matter.
  • adj. Intertwined.
  • adj. Complex, complicated.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Composed of two or more parts united; complex; complicated; involved.
  • adj. Folded together, or upon itself, with the fold running lengthwise.
  • transitive v. To fold or twist together; to combine intricately; to make complex; to combine or associate so as to make intricate or difficult.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To render complex or intricate; fold or twist together; entangle; intertwine; interweave; involve: as, to complicate matters, he was suddenly taken ill.
  • To form by combination of parts or elements; combine; compound.
  • Composed of interconnected parts; complex.
  • Intricate; involved.
  • In botany, folded upon itself: as, a complicate embryo: same as conduplicate.
  • In entomology, folded longitudinally once or several times, as the wings of wasps, the posterior wings of grasshoppers, etc.

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

  • v. make more complicated
  • v. make more complex, intricate, or richer


Latin complicāre, complicāt-, to fold together : com-, com- + plicāre, to fold; see plek- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin complicatus, past participle of complicare ("to fold together"), from com- ("together") + plicare ("to fold, weave, knit"); see plaid, and compare complex (Wiktionary)


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