[ adjective, verb kuhm-pleks, kom-pleks; noun kom-pleks ]
/ adjective, verb kəmˈplɛks, ˈkɒm plɛks; noun ˈkɒm plɛks /
composed of many interconnected parts; compound; composite: a complex highway system.
characterized by a very complicated or involved arrangement of parts, units, etc.: complex machinery.
so complicated or intricate as to be hard to understand or deal with: a complex problem.
- (of a word) consisting of two parts, at least one of which is a bound form, as childish, which consists of the word child and the bound form -ish.
- complex sentence.
Mathematics. pertaining to or using complex numbers: complex methods; complex vector space.
an intricate or complicated association or assemblage of related things, parts, units, etc.: the entire complex of our educational system; an apartment complex.
Psychology. a system of interrelated, emotion-charged ideas, feelings, memories, and impulses that is usually repressed and that gives rise to abnormal or pathological behavior.
a fixed idea; an obsessive notion.
- an arbitrary set of elements of a group.
- a collection of simplexes having specified properties.
Also called coordination compound. Chemistry. a compound in which independently existing molecules or ions of a nonmetal (complexing agent) form coordinate bonds with a metal atom or ion.Compare ligand(def 2).
Biochemistry. an entity composed of molecules in which the constituents maintain much of their chemical identity: receptor-hormone complex, enzyme-substrate complex.
verb (used with object)
Chemistry. to form a complex with.
verb (used without object)
Chemistry. to form a complex.
Words nearby complex
Origin of complex
1645–55; 1905–10 for def 7; (adj.) < Latin complexus, past participle of complectī, complectere to embrace, encompass, include, equivalent to complect- (see complect) + -tus past participle suffix; (noun) < Late Latin complexus totality, complex (Latin: inclusion, grasping, embrace), equivalent to complect(ere) + -tus suffix of v. action; reanalysis of the Latin v. as “to intertwine (completely)” has influenced sense of the adj.
ANTONYMS FOR complex
2, 3 simple.
OTHER WORDS FROM complex
com·plex·ly, adverbcom·plex·ness, nouno·ver·com·plex, adjectivequa·si-com·plex, adjective
qua·si-com·plex·ly, adverbsu·per·com·plex, adjectiveun·com·plex, adjectiveun·com·plex·ly, adverbun·com·plex·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for complex's
/ (ˈkɒmplɛks) /
made up of various interconnected parts; composite
(of thoughts, writing, etc) intricate or involved
- (of a word) containing at least one bound form
- (of a noun phrase) containing both a lexical noun and an embedded clause, as for example the italicized parts of the following sentence: I didn't know the man who served me
- (of a sentence) formed by subordination of one clause to another
maths of or involving one or more complex numbers
a whole made up of interconnected or related partsa building complex
psychoanal a group of emotional ideas or impulses that have been banished from the conscious mind but that continue to influence a person's behaviour
informal an obsession or excessive fearhe's got a complex about cats
Also called: coordination compound a chemical compound in which molecules, groups, or ions are attached to a central metal atom, esp a transition metal atom, by coordinate bonds
any chemical compound in which one molecule is linked to another by a coordinate bond
Derived forms of complexcomplexly, adverbcomplexness, noun
Word Origin for complex
C17: from Latin complexus, from complectī to entwine, from com- together + plectere to braid
usage for complex
Complex is sometimes wrongly used where complicated is meant. Complex is properly used to say only that something consists of several parts. It should not be used to say that, because something consists of many parts, it is difficult to understand or analyse
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
Medical definitions for complex's
[ kŏm′plĕks′ ]
A group of related, often repressed memories, thoughts, and impulses that compel characteristic or habitual patterns of feelings, thought, and behavior.
The relatively stable combination of two or more ions or compounds into a larger structure without covalent binding.
A composite of chemical or immunological structures.
An entity made up of three or more interrelated components.
A group of individual structures known or believed to be anatomically, embryologically, or physiologically related.
The combination of factors, symptoms, or signs that forms a syndrome.
Consisting of interconnected or interwoven parts; composite.
Composed of two or more units.
Relating to a group of individual structures known or considered to be anatomically, embryologically, or physiologically related.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.