Definition of convoluted in English:



  • 1(especially of an argument, story, or sentence) extremely complex and difficult to follow.

    ‘the film is let down by a convoluted plot in which nothing really happens’
    • ‘The many convoluted and abstruse arguments of these programmes do not concern us here.’
    • ‘When Douglas's character smells a rat, the convoluted thriller plot is set in motion.’
    • ‘To say that it is convoluted and extremely complicated is an understatement.’
    • ‘You turned my daughter against me with this convoluted tale that makes me look evil.’
    • ‘Another problem is that the convoluted narrative constantly conflicts with itself and could never actually add up in real life.’
    • ‘This will allow it to assess the best bid quickly as some proposals tend to be convoluted, making comparisons difficult.’
    • ‘Sometimes convoluted word structures just aren't appropriate.’
    • ‘Anyone who has tried to explain a convoluted opera plot to another is glaringly aware of difficulties that may arise.’
    • ‘People's eyes glaze over once they are immersed in its convoluted arguments.’
    • ‘Youngsters nowadays prefer watching love stories with convoluted endings that stretch for more than three hours.’
    • ‘The storylines are convoluted in the extreme: they twist and turn on themselves, surprising and delighting.’
    • ‘Given its epic emotions and convoluted plot, the story might better lend itself to opera than ballet.’
    • ‘This is the kind of convoluted wording that pops up on a regular basis, and my head still hurts trying to untangle it.’
    • ‘Make sure you stay away from long, convoluted arguments that demand intense concentration to follow.’
    • ‘These issues and their connotations for academic freedom and campus sustainability are complex and convoluted.’
    • ‘If you follow his convoluted logic, it makes a certain kind of sense, but he's stretching things.’
    • ‘Because the issues of censorship are so convoluted and complicated I find it difficult to come down completely on one side or the other.’
    • ‘The intrigue is deepened by the convoluted tale of the past few months.’
    • ‘And the expensive process could take a year to complete because of convoluted legal and municipal procedures.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, he is a compulsive liar whose naivety and innocence allows him to get away with the most convoluted stories.’
    complicated, complex, involved, intricate, elaborate, impenetrable, serpentine, labyrinthine, tortuous, tangled, byzantine, daedalian, gordian
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  • 2technical Intricately folded, twisted, or coiled.

    ‘walnuts come in hard and convoluted shells’
    • ‘Notice the convoluted rope work.’
    • ‘He was fully aware he was dreaming, but remained deep within the convoluted folds of his subconscious.’
    • ‘The hot liquor tank has a convoluted coil of copper pipe that is used to raise the temperature of the mash.’
    • ‘There was a convoluted tangle of coloured threads around you, some of which seemed to be paths.’
    • ‘The broken remains of the engine room form a short but convoluted route past twisted girders and scattered machinery.’


Late 18th century: past participle of convolute, from Latin convolutus, past participle of convolvere ‘roll together, intertwine’ (see convolve).