complex

complex
I. noun Etymology: Late Latin complexus totality, from Latin, embrace, from complecti Date: 1643 1. a whole made up of complicated or interrelated parts <
a complex of welfare programs
>
<
the military-industrial complex
>
2. a. a group of culture traits relating to a single activity (as hunting), process (as use of flint), or culture unit b. (1) a group of repressed desires and memories that exerts a dominating influence upon the personality (2) an exaggerated reaction to or preoccupation with a subject or situation c. a group of obviously related units of which the degree and nature of the relationship is imperfectly known d. the sum of factors (as symptoms) characterizing a disease or condition 3. a chemical association of two or more species (as ions or molecules) joined usually by weak electrostatic bonds rather than covalent bonds 4. a building or group of buildings housing related units <
an apartment complex
>
<
a sports complex
>
II. adjective Etymology: Latin complexus, past participle of complecti to embrace, comprise (a multitude of objects), from com- + plectere to braid — more at ply Date: 1645 1. a. composed of two or more parts ; composite b. (1) of a word having a bound form as one or more of its immediate constituents <
unmanly is a complex word
>
(2) of a sentence consisting of a main clause and one or more subordinate clauses 2. hard to separate, analyze, or solve 3. of, concerned with, being, or containing complex numbers <
a complex root
>
<
complex analysis
>
complexly adverbcomplexness noun Synonyms: complex, complicated, intricate, involved, knotty mean having confusingly interrelated parts. complex suggests the unavoidable result of a necessary combining and does not imply a fault or failure <
a complex recipe
>
. complicated applies to what offers great difficulty in understanding, solving, or explaining <
complicated legal procedures
>
. intricate suggests such interlacing of parts as to make it nearly impossible to follow or grasp them separately <
an intricate web of deceit
>
. involved implies extreme complication and often disorder <
a rambling, involved explanation
>
. knotty suggests complication and entanglement that make solution or understanding improbable <
knotty ethical questions
>
. III. transitive verb Date: 1658 1. to make complex or into a complex 2. chelatecomplexation noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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