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elaborate

[adjective ih-lab-er-it; verb ih-lab-uh-reyt]
See more synonyms for elaborate on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. worked out with great care and nicety of detail; executed with great minuteness: elaborate preparations; elaborate care.
  2. marked by intricate and often excessive detail; complicated; ornate.
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verb (used with object), e·lab·o·rat·ed, e·lab·o·rat·ing.
  1. to work out carefully or minutely; develop to perfection.
  2. to add details to; expand.
  3. to produce or develop by labor.
  4. Physiology. to convert (food, plasma, etc.) by means of chemical processes into a substance more suitable for use within the body.
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verb (used without object), e·lab·o·rat·ed, e·lab·o·rat·ing.
  1. to add details in writing, speaking, etc.; give additional or fuller treatment (usually followed by on or upon): to elaborate upon a theme or an idea.
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Origin of elaborate

1575–85; < Latin ēlabōrātus (past participle of ēlabōrāre) worked out, equivalent to ē- e-1 + labōr- work + -ātus -ate1
Related formse·lab·o·rate·ly, adverbe·lab·o·rate·ness, noune·lab·o·ra·tive, adjectivee·lab·o·ra·tor, nounnon·e·lab·o·rate, adjectivenon·e·lab·o·rate·ly, adverbnon·e·lab·o·rate·ness, nounnon·e·lab·o·rat·ing, adjectivenon·e·lab·o·ra·tive, adjectivequa·si-e·lab·o·rate, adjectivequa·si-e·lab·o·rate·ly, adverbself-e·lab·o·rat·ed, adjectivesu·per·e·lab·o·rate, adjectivesu·per·e·lab·o·rate·ly, adverbsu·per·e·lab·o·rate·ness, nounun·e·lab·o·rate, adjectiveun·e·lab·o·rate·ly, adverbun·e·lab·o·rate·ness, nounun·e·lab·o·rat·ed, adjectivewell-e·lab·o·rat·ed, adjective

Synonym study

2. Elaborate, labored, studied apply to that which is worked out in great detail. That which is elaborate is characterized by great, sometimes even excessive, minuteness of detail: elaborate preparations for a banquet. That which is labored is marked by excessive, often forced or uninspired, effort: a labored style of writing. That which is studied is accomplished with care and deliberation, and is done purposely, sometimes even having been rehearsed: a studied pose.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for elaborates

Historical Examples

  • The behaviour in hot water confirms and elaborates the classification.

    Animal Proteins

    Hugh Garner Bennett

  • He elaborates it delightfully, so that people may forget he has spoken the truth.

    Oscar Wilde

    Arthur Ransome

  • James elaborates this thesis with his usual resourcefulness and skill.

    Religion and Science

    John Charlton Hardwick

  • He bases his rules upon those of Professor Bain, elaborates these, and adds some equally good ones.

    Your Mind and How to Use It

    William Walker Atkinson

  • With an ironical pretence of rendering deserved homage to poverty, he elaborates the important part it plays in the social scheme.

    Paris and the Social Revolution

    Alvan Francis Sanborn


British Dictionary definitions for elaborates

elaborate

adjective (ɪˈlæbərɪt)
  1. planned or executed with care and exactness; detailed
  2. marked by complexity, ornateness, or detail
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verb (ɪˈlæbəˌreɪt)
  1. (intr; usually foll by on or upon) to add information or detail (to an account); expand (upon)
  2. (tr) to work out in detail; develop
  3. (tr) to make more complicated or ornate
  4. (tr) to produce by careful labour; create
  5. (tr) physiol to change (food or simple substances) into more complex substances for use in the body
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Derived Formselaborately, adverbelaborateness, nounelaboration, nounelaborative (ɪˈlæbərətɪv), adjectiveelaborator, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Latin ēlabōrāre to take pains, from labōrāre to toil
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 elaborates

elaborate

adj.

1590s, "produced by labor," from Latin elaboratus, past participle of elaborare "to exert oneself" (see elaboration). Meaning "very detailed" is from 1620s.

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elaborate

v.

c.1600, "to build up from simple elements," from Latin elaboratus, past participle of elaborare (see elaboration). Meaning "to work out in detail" is attested from 1610s. Related: Elaborated; elaborating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper