[lab-uh-rin-thin, -theen]


of, relating to, or resembling a labyrinth.
complicated; tortuous: the labyrinthine byways of modern literature.

Also lab·y·rin·thi·an [lab-uh-rin-thee-uh n] /ˌlæb əˈrɪn θi ən/, lab·y·rin·thic.

Origin of labyrinthine

First recorded in 1740–50; labyrinth + -ine1
Related formslab·y·rin·thi·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for labyrinthian

Historical Examples of labyrinthian

  • Then he retraced his labyrinthian steps in a corresponding swath.

    St. Cuthbert's

    Robert E. Knowles

  • What an indescribable, unimaginable mass of labyrinthian motions must exist among these myriads of little bodies!

    Aether and Gravitation

    William George Hooper

  • They hit on this plan because they feared an ambush on any of the labyrinthian trails leading off in other unexplored directions.

    The Gilded Man

    Clifford Smyth

  • The Polish election is the clue to the labyrinthian intrigues and royal tergiversations during the period of the interregnum.

  • A straight course lay open to Cutty, but he chose the labyrinthian because he was obsessed.

    The Drums Of Jeopardy

    Harold MacGrath

British Dictionary definitions for labyrinthian


labyrinthian (ˌlæbəˈrɪnθɪən) or labyrinthic (ˌlæbəˈrɪnθɪk)


of or relating to a labyrinth
resembling a labyrinth in complexity
Derived Formslabyrinthically, adverb
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 labyrinthian



1630s; see labyrinth + -ine (1). Earlier adjective forms were labyrinthian (1580s); labyrinthial (1540s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

labyrinthian in Medicine


[lăb′ə-rĭnthĭn, -thēn′]


Of, relating to, resembling, or constituting a labyrinth.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.