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Origin of complex

First recorded in 1645–55; 1905–10 for def. 7; adjective from Latin complexus, past participle of complectī, complectere “to embrace, encompass, include,” equivalent to complect- (see complect) + -tus past participle suffix; noun from Late Latin complexus “totality, complex” (Latin: “inclusion, grasping, embrace”), equivalent to complect(ere) + -tus suffix of verb action; reanalysis of the Latin verb as “to intertwine (completely)” influenced sense of the adjective

OTHER WORDS FROM complex

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use complex in a sentence

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
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