Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.


 (kəm-plĕks′, kŏm′plĕks′)
a. Consisting of interconnected or interwoven parts; composite: complex equipment with multiple components.
b. Composed of two or more units: a complex carbohydrate.
2. Difficult to understand for being intricate or involved; complicated: a complex problem.
3. Grammar
a. Consisting of at least one bound form. Used of a word.
b. Consisting of an independent clause and at least one other independent or dependent clause. Used of a sentence.
n. (kŏm′plĕks′)
1. A whole composed of interconnected or interwoven parts: a complex of cities and suburbs; the military-industrial complex.
2. A building or group of buildings used for a single purpose: a sports complex.
3. In psychoanalysis, a group of related, often repressed ideas and impulses that compel characteristic or habitual patterns of thought, feelings, and behavior.
4. An exaggerated or obsessive concern or fear: has a complex about his weight.
5. Medicine The combination of factors, symptoms, or signs of a disease or disorder that forms a syndrome.

[Latin complexus, past participle of complectī, to entwine; see complect.]

com·plex′ly adv.
com·plex′ness n.
Synonyms: complex, complicated, intricate, involved, tangled
These adjectives mean having parts so interconnected as to hamper comprehension or perception of the whole. Complex implies a combination of many interwoven parts: The composer transformed a simple folk tune into a complex set of variations. Complicated stresses a relationship of parts that affect each other in elaborate, often obscure ways: The party's complicated platform confused many voters. Intricate refers to a pattern of intertwining parts that is difficult to follow or analyze: "No one could soar into a more intricate labyrinth of refined phraseology" (Anthony Trollope).
Involved implies a close but confusing interconnection between many different parts: The movie's plot was criticized as being too involved. Tangled strongly suggests the random twisting of many parts: "Oh, what a tangled web we weave, / When first we practice to deceive!" (Sir Walter Scott).
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.complexness - the quality of being intricate and compounded; "he enjoyed the complexity of modern computers"
quality - an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone; "the quality of mercy is not strained"--Shakespeare
elaborateness, intricacy, involution, elaboration - marked by elaborately complex detail
tapestry - something that resembles a tapestry in its complex pictorial designs; "the tapestry of European history"
trickiness - the quality of requiring skill or caution; "these puzzles are famous for their trickiness"
References in periodicals archive ?
the quality of a restaurant, the cost of a coffee maker, the visual complexness of the video game) and feasibility (i.
Given the increasing volume and complexness of corporate action events, it is growingly difficult for these funding agencies to address the matters of operational risk and losses related to the issues of processing corporate actions manually.
Complexity or complexness is a highly frequently occurring term that is in the centre of attention of several research centres and journals, such as e.