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

  • adj. Having many complexly arranged elements; elaborate. See Synonyms at elaborate.
  • adj. Solvable or comprehensible only with painstaking effort. See Synonyms at complex.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having a great deal of fine detail or complexity.
  • v. To become enmeshed or entangled.
  • v. To enmesh or entangle: to cause to intricate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Entangled; involved; perplexed; complicated; difficult to understand, follow, arrange, or adjust
  • transitive v. To entangle; to involve; to make perplexing.

from The 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.
  • To render intricate or involved; make perplexing or obscure.

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

  • adj. having many complexly arranged elements; elaborate


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)
From Latin intricatus (past participle of intricare). (Wiktionary)
As the adjective; or by analogy with extricate (Wiktionary)



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  • After walking for many hours along an intricate series of paths and grassy trails , the two travellers came upon a lush , green vally

    August 22, 2015

  • Complicated.

    October 1, 2010