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.

OTHER WORDS FROM complex

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for complex

British Dictionary definitions for complex

complex
/ (ˈkɒmplɛks) /

adjective

noun

Derived forms of complex

complexly, 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

Medicine definitions for complex

complex
[ kŏmplĕks′ ]

n.

adj.

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