Definition of complication in English:


Line breaks: com|pli|ca¦tion
Pronunciation: /kɒmplɪˈkeɪʃ(ə)n


1A circumstance that complicates something; a difficulty: there is a complication concerning ownership of the site
More example sentences
  • Without proper cover, difficulties become disasters and complications become crises.
  • He says, however, that the questions about whether the supreme court is going to be a complication are difficult to answer because it's too soon.
  • The process has also been stalled by complications over the ownership of ESB assets.
difficulty, problem, issue, obstacle, hurdle, stumbling block, barrier, impediment; drawback, snag, catch, hitch
informal fly in the ointment, prob, headache, hiccup, facer
British informal spanner in the works
North American informal monkey wrench in the works
1.1 [mass noun] An involved or confused condition or state: to add further complication, English-speakers use a different name
More example sentences
  • I love complication but then again, that's my life.
  • The fact that we had to walk half a mile through a near frozen pasture to reach the shed where Peanuts had been ensconced with mountains of hay and a trough of fresh water added another layer of complication.
  • Of course, the immediate step is to embrace the sport of complication with academic fervour.
2 Medicine A secondary disease or condition aggravating an already existing one: she developed complications after the surgery
More example sentences
  • Of those, 818 have had diabetes at least 10 years and have developed kidney disease, a common complication of diabetes.
  • What are the common symptoms and complications of diverticular disease?
  • Myocarditis may develop as a complication of an infectious disease, usually caused by a virus.


late Middle English: from late Latin complicatio(n-), from Latin complicare 'fold together' (see complicate).

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