• synonyms


[verb kom-pli-keyt; adjective kom-pli-kit]
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verb (used with object), com·pli·cat·ed, com·pli·cat·ing.
  1. to make complex, intricate, involved, or difficult: His recovery from the operation was complicated by an allergic reaction.
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  1. complex; involved.
  2. Entomology. folded longitudinally one or more times, as the wings of certain insects.
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Origin of complicate

1615–25; < Latin complicātus (past participle of complicāre to fold together), equivalent to com- com- + -plic- (combining form of *plecāre to fold, akin to plectī to plait; see complex) + -ātus -ate1
Related formso·ver·com·pli·cate, verb (used with object), o·ver·com·pli·cat·ed, o·ver·com·pli·cat·ing.pre·com·pli·cate, verb (used with object), pre·com·pli·cat·ed, pre·com·pli·cat·ing.re·com·pli·cate, verb (used with object), re·com·pli·cat·ed, re·com·pli·cat·ing.un·com·pli·cate, verb (used with object), un·com·pli·cat·ed, un·com·pli·cat·ing.


  1. composed of elaborately interconnected parts; complex: complicated apparatus for measuring brain functions.
  2. difficult to analyze, understand, explain, etc.: a complicated problem.
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Origin of complicated

First recorded in 1640–50; complicate + -ed2
Related formscom·pli·cat·ed·ly, adverbcom·pli·cat·ed·ness, nounun·com·pli·cat·ed, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for uncomplicated

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • To his uncomplicated nature the affair was still one of tit for tat.


    John Galsworthy

  • As uncomplicated injuries, these wounds were little to be feared.

  • Alix's nature was uncomplicated by any consciousness of self.


    Kathleen Norris

  • And your man of achievement is pretty apt to be an uncomplicated human.

    Amazing Grace

    Kate Trimble Sharber

  • Lee wasn't materially, patiently, sensual in that uncomplicated manner.


    Joseph Hergesheimer

British Dictionary definitions for uncomplicated


  1. not complicated; simple
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verb (ˈkɒmplɪˌkeɪt)
  1. to make or become complex
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adjective (ˈkɒmplɪkɪt)
  1. biology folded on itselfa complicate leaf
  2. a less common word for complicated
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Word Origin

C17: from Latin complicāre to fold together, from plicāre to fold


  1. made up of intricate parts or aspects that are difficult to understand or analyse
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Derived Formscomplicatedly, adverbcomplicatedness, noun
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 uncomplicated


1724, from un- (1) "not" + complicated.

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1640s, "tangled," from past participle adjective from complicate. Figurative meaning "not easy to solve, intricate, confused, difficult to unravel" is from 1650s.

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1620s, "to intertwine" (as a past participle adjective, early 15c.), from Latin complicatus "folded together; confused, intricate," past participle of complicare (see complication). Meaning "to make more complex" is recorded from 1832, from earlier sense "to combine in a complex way" (17c.). Related: Complicated; complicating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper