Definition of elaborate in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈlab(ə)rət/
1Involving many carefully arranged parts or details; detailed and complicated in design and planning: elaborate security precautions elaborate wrought-iron gates
More example sentences
  • She looked as imperious and haughty as ever; her graying blue-silver hair swept up into an intricate coif, the elaborate detail of its design matching even her extravagant evening gown.
  • There were some matters the tribunal did not refer to although they could have, and some minor errors in relation to the details of this elaborate and complicated scheme.
  • The buildings were all made of white stone, built carefully with elaborate details, as if every family lived in a miniature castle.
complicated, complex, intricate, involved;
detailed, painstaking, careful;
tortuous, convoluted, serpentine, Byzantine;
Rube Goldberg
ornate, decorated, embellished, adorned, ornamented, fancy, fussy, busy, ostentatious, extravagant, showy, baroque, rococo, florid
informal fancy-schmancy
1.1(Of an action) lengthy and exaggerated: he made an elaborate pretense of yawning
More example sentences
  • Faking an elaborate yawn, I sneak a glance over my shoulder just in time to see her naked back as she leaves.
  • It is an elaborate, extravagant and bloated undertaking that not only throws in the kitchen sink but the fire extinguisher, too.
  • ‘That sounds good,’ Cici said with an elaborate yawn, and laid her head on the side of the car.


Pronunciation: /əˈlabəˌrāt/
1 [with object] Develop or present (a theory, policy, or system) in detail: the key idea of the book is expressed in the title and elaborated in the text
More example sentences
  • If she had done so, he would have had to elaborate his policy ambitions in detail.
  • Sitting in front of their seaside cottage, he elaborates his theory.
  • Not surprisingly, he elaborates a theory of the relationship between music and money.
1.1 [no object] Add more detail concerning what has already been said: he would not elaborate on his news
More example sentences
  • In this article, then, I will elaborate on these concerns and use some well-known poems.
  • He did not elaborate on concerns regarding the immigration office.
  • A spokeswoman for the inquiry refused to elaborate on the concerns but said they would eventually be made public in a witness statement.
expand on, enlarge on, add to, flesh out, put flesh on the bones of, add detail to, expatiate on;
develop, fill out, embellish, embroider, enhance, amplify
2 [with object] Biology (Of a natural agency) produce (a substance) from its elements or simpler constituents.
Example sentences
  • Uroisolate PU7, was found to elicit the maximum virulence factors elaborating extracellular enzymes, protease, elastase, phospholipase C, haemolysin and pyochelin.
  • In the later stages they elaborate the collagenous intercellular substance of the scar.
  • Many amino acid and peptide hormones are elaborated by neural tissue, with ultimate impact on the entire system.



Pronunciation: /əˈlab(ə)rətnəs/
Example sentences
  • They don't lie about these things - why, the very elaborateness of their outlandish tales is proof that something happened.
  • I could go on and on about the degree of deception, the elaborateness of the country's program to maintain its weapons capabilities.
  • The dance form of Kathakali has become very popular over the years, captivating hearts worldwide with its elaborateness.


Pronunciation: /-ˌrātiv/
Example sentences
  • Music will develop imaginative, intuitive and elaborative faculties of the young minds and improve the relationship between the teacher and the students.
  • Long-term memory requires elaborative encoding in the inner part of the temporal lobes.
  • For each of these questions, a series of suggested probes was developed for use by the interviewers, intended to elicit more elaborative responses to these questions.


Pronunciation: /-tər/
Example sentences
  • And I also knew that in casting Tom, I'd be taking on a really intelligent and a helpful elaborator.
  • Some preliminary evidence suggests that students who are high elaborators are advantaged in this regard because they are better able to incorporate cognitive restructuring and reorganization.
  • Crucially, this module defines a function elaborator.


Late 16th century (in the sense 'produced by effort of labor', also sense 2 of the verb of the verb): from Latin elaborat- 'worked out', from the verb elaborare, from e- (variant of ex-) 'out' + labor 'work'.

  • labour from Middle English:

    Labour came into English through French from Latin labor ‘toil, distress, trouble’, also found in laboratory (early 17th century) a place of work, and elaborate (late 16th century) ‘produced by much labour’. In the late 18th century the Scottish economist Adam Smith used the word technically for work directed towards providing the needs of a community, and paved the way for the use of labour in political contexts. The British Labour Party was formed in 1906 to represent ordinary working people. A task requiring enormous strength or effort is a labour of Hercules or a Herculean labour. In Greek mythology Hercules had superhuman strength and performed twelve tasks or ‘labours’ imposed on him as a penance for killing his children in a fit of madness. After his death he was ranked among the gods.

Words that rhyme with elaborate


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: e·lab·o·rate

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