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[kom-pli-key-shuh n] /ˌkɒm plɪˈkeɪ ʃən/
the act of complicating.
a complicated or involved state or condition.
a complex combination of elements or things.
something that introduces, usually unexpectedly, some difficulty, problem, change, etc.:
Because of the complications involved in traveling during the strike, we decided to postpone our trip.
Pathology. a concurrent disease, accident, or adverse reaction that aggravates the original disease.
the act of forming a unified idea or impression from a number of sense data, memories, etc.
Origin of complication
1605-15; < Late Latin complicātīon- (stem of complicātiō), equivalent to complicāt(us) (see complicate) + -īon- -ion
Related forms
complicative, adjective
precomplication, noun
recomplication, noun
4. drawback, handicap, obstacle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for complication
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mop died of old age and of a complication of diseases, in the spring of 1892.

    A Boy I Knew and Four Dogs Laurence Hutton
  • Was it to help in such a complication as this that I had been summoned?

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine Joseph C. Lincoln
  • So much for the first complication in the tragedy of this man's life.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
  • He needed Sally Winthrop to talk over his complication with him.

    The Wall Street Girl Frederick Orin Bartlett
  • There had been some complication in the way of which she had been unable to rid herself.

    Kept in the Dark

    Anthony Trollope
British Dictionary definitions for complication


a condition, event, etc, that is complex or confused
the act or process of complicating
a situation, event, or condition that complicates or frustrates: her coming was a serious complication
a disease or disorder arising as a consequence of another disease
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for complication

early 15c., from Middle French complication, from Latin complicationem (nominative complicatio), noun of action from past participle stem of complicare "to fold together, fold up, roll up," from com- "together" (see com-) + plicare "to fold, weave" (see ply (v.1)). Meaning "something that complicates" first recorded 1903.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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complication in Medicine

complication com·pli·ca·tion (kŏm'plĭ-kā'shən)
A pathological process or event occurring during a disease that is not an essential part of the disease; it may result from the disease or from independent causes.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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