Meaning of COMPLEX in English



Pronunciation: käm- ' pleks, k ə m- ' , ' käm- ˌ

Function: adjective

Etymology: Latin complexus, past participle of complecti to embrace, comprise (a multitude of objects), from com- + plectere to braid ― more at PLY

Date: 1645

1 a : composed of two or more parts : COMPOSITE b (1) of a word : having a bound form as one or more of its immediate constituents < unmanly is a complex word> (2) of a sentence : consisting of a main clause and one or more subordinate clauses

2 : hard to separate, analyze, or solve

3 : of, concerned with, being, or containing complex numbers <a complex root> < complex analysis>

– com · plex · ly adverb

– com · plex · ness noun

synonyms COMPLEX , COMPLICATED , INTRICATE , INVOLVED , KNOTTY mean having confusingly interrelated parts. COMPLEX suggests the unavoidable result of a necessary combining and does not imply a fault or failure <a complex recipe>. COMPLICATED applies to what offers great difficulty in understanding, solving, or explaining < complicated legal procedures>. INTRICATE suggests such interlacing of parts as to make it nearly impossible to follow or grasp them separately <an intricate web of deceit>. INVOLVED implies extreme complication and often disorder <a rambling, involved explanation>. KNOTTY suggests complication and entanglement that make solution or understanding improbable < knotty ethical questions>.

Merriam Webster Collegiate English Dictionary.      Merriam Webster - Энциклопедический словарь английского языка.