having many interrelated parts or facets; entangled or involved: an intricate maze.
complex; complicated; hard to understand, work, or make: an intricate machine.

Origin of intricate

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin intrīcātus, past participle of intrīcāre to entangle, equivalent to in- in-2 + trīc(ae) perplexities + -ātus -ate1
Related formsin·tri·cate·ly, adverbin·tri·cate·ness, nounun·in·tri·cate, adjectiveun·in·tri·cate·ly, adverbun·in·tri·cate·ness, noun

Synonyms for intricate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for intricately

Contemporary Examples of intricately

Historical Examples of intricately

  • Don Loris drummed on the arm of his intricately carved chair.

    The Pirates of Ersatz

    Murray Leinster

  • He leaned towards her and found that she was intricately caught in the rose.

    Adrienne Toner

    Anne Douglas Sedgwick

  • The walls were divided into panels, with borders broad and intricately arabesqued.

    The Fair God

    Lew Wallace

  • The instinct for reproduction is intricately involved in the struggle for existence.

  • It was intricately and wisely designed; its God must be omniscient.

    Some Christian Convictions

    Henry Sloane Coffin

British Dictionary definitions for intricately



difficult to understand; obscure; complex; puzzling
entangled or involvedintricate patterns
Derived Formsintricacy or intricateness, nounintricately, adverb

Word Origin for intricate

C15: from Latin intrīcāre to entangle, perplex, from in- ² + trīcae trifles, perplexities
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 intricately



early 15c., from Latin intricatus "entangled," past participle of intricare "to entangle, perplex, embarrass," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + tricae (plural) "perplexities, hindrances, toys, tricks," of uncertain origin (cf. extricate). Related: Intricately.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper