Definition of complicate in English:


Line breaks: com|pli|cate
Pronunciation: /ˈkɒmplɪkeɪt


[with object]
  • 1Make (something) more complicated: increased choice will complicate matters for the consumer (as adjective complicating) a complicating factor
    More example sentences
    • There are a number of factors which complicate choices about smallpox either for governments or for individuals.
    • The first factor complicating the fight against doping, he said, is the imperfect art of testing.
    • One of the factors complicating the adjustment of the Hmong people has been English language acquisition.
    make (more) difficult, make complex, make complicated, mix up; confuse, muddle, entangle, embroil
    informal mess up, snarl up, screw up
    archaic perplex, embarrass
    rare ravel
  • 1.1 Medicine Introduce complications in (an existing condition): smoking may complicate pregnancy (as adjective complicating) patients with complicating biliary calculi
    More example sentences
    • Pregnancy is not an absolute contraindication to travel unless complicated by an unstable medical condition or impending labor.
    • Respiratory failure frequently complicates the condition of children who have sustained traumatic injury.
    • Women with preterm delivery and pregnancies complicated by hemoglobinopathies, hypertension, or multiple gestation were excluded.


early 17th century (in the sense 'combine, entangle, intertwine'): from Latin complicat- 'folded together', from the verb complicare, from com- 'together' + plicare 'to fold'.

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Pronunciation: ˌkələrəˈto͝orə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody