[kuh m-plek-si-tee]

noun, plural com·plex·i·ties for 2.

the state or quality of being complex; intricacy: the complexity of urban life.
something complex: the complexities of foreign policy.

Origin of complexity

First recorded in 1715–25; complex + -ity
Related formsin·ter·com·plex·i·ty, noun, plural in·ter·com·plex·i·ties.o·ver·com·plex·i·ty, nounsu·per·com·plex·i·ty, noun, plural su·per·com·plex·i·ties. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for complexity

Contemporary Examples of complexity

Historical Examples of complexity

  • The complexity of life is shown by the extension of the necessity of choice.

  • To beautify it is to take away its character of complexity—it is to destroy it.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • But our State in which one man plays one part only is not adapted for complexity.

  • Lydia said, in a low tone charged with her own complexity of sentiment.

    The Prisoner

    Alice Brown

  • This is too often lost sight of in the complexity of things.

British Dictionary definitions for complexity


noun plural -ties

the state or quality of being intricate or complex
something intricate or complex; complication
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

Word Origin and History for complexity

1721, "composite nature," from complex (adj.) + -ity. Meaning "intricacy" is from 1790. Meaning "a complex condition" is from 1794.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper