Definition of labyrinthine in English:



  • 1(of a network) like a labyrinth; irregular and twisting.

    ‘labyrinthine streets and alleys’
    • ‘Chinguetti, a town that sits on the edge of an immense sea of sand like a harbour village, is a sprawl of labyrinthine streets and walled courtyards.’
    • ‘Eventually, after several twists and turns though the labyrinthine hallways, they came to Room 83-34.’
    • ‘Squirrelled away on a mountainside a couple of miles out of town, this is a labyrinthine and deliciously old - fashioned collection of baths and treatment rooms.’
    • ‘Much later, in 1782, during a succession of bloody battles with Spain, the British were forced to burrow the famous Great Siege Tunnels - whose labyrinthine passageways can still be explored.’
    • ‘The town's labyrinthine streets and alleys are dotted with ancient churches and neat rows of elegant 16 th-century mansions.’
    • ‘Rendon Photography and Fine Art, Garcia Glass, Bower Gallery and Isaac Maxwell Metal are among the galleries found along Southtown's labyrinthine streets.’
    • ‘Sheppards House is one of those labyrinthine '60s blocks where the steps are always damp and you can live next to your neighbours for years without ever bumping into them.’
    • ‘On his travels through the dark, labyrinthine streets of Victorian London, he also meets and falls in love with prostitute Mary Kelly.’
    • ‘We have been warned about Aleppo's honey-tongued vendors, but are unprepared for the wonders of the souks - a labyrinthine network of dark passageways, which form the world's biggest covered market.’
    • ‘In the labyrinthine back alleys of Kabul, a rusted iron gate and a hand-painted sign mark the entrance to Alam Faizad School, where 4,000 children are enrolled for the first week of classes.’
    • ‘Backstage, hidden away in its unseen archives, labyrinthine corridors and a warren of dark store-rooms are more clues to the lives of Nicholas and Alexandra.’
    • ‘Whether it be in the labyrinthine corridors of Hamadan, the brash, bustling alleys of Shiraz or the glass-fronted shops of Isfahan it's really the same.’
    • ‘A guide can bring her (for a small fee, of course) through its labyrinthine winding laneways and streets, few of which still exist in the modern world.’
    • ‘The red sandstone block I am heading for is equally labyrinthine: a network of stunted corridors and dark stairwells.’
    • ‘Issues facing the bazaar are manifold, just like its labyrinthine alleys.’
    • ‘Inside the art deco cinema building, dating from the British colonial era, a labyrinthine network of corridors, barely wide enough for two people to pass, has been built.’
    • ‘He had a destination in mind and he was not about to get lost in the labyrinthine alleyways and side streets.’
    • ‘You are already lost in its labyrinthine alleys.’
    • ‘And in the vodka bars in the capital's labyrinthine streets the locals will huddle around the televisions tonight waiting for a bulletin on how he has done.’
    • ‘Through re-examining these lost moments of time spent wandering the labyrinthine cityscape, Onda has processed and tweaked aspects of the captured fragments and played them back in real time.’
    maze-like, winding, twisting, serpentine, meandering, wandering, rambling, mazy, sinuous, zigzag
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    1. 1.1(of a system) intricate and confusing.
      ‘labyrinthine plots and counterplots’
      • ‘She reveals how the worker must negotiate a labyrinthine bureaucracy of passport controls and booking and employment agents where, at every turn, money is required.’
      • ‘On Africa, for example, world leaders must not stumble over labyrinthine arguments concerning trade versus aid or governance and conditionality.’
      • ‘You may, however, be playing Stableford, in which case you are left grappling with even more numbers and lists, this time interpreted through a labyrinthine points system.’
      • ‘We are individually shaped by our fortunes and misfortunes, by our upbringing, by the labyrinthine patterns of our hates and pleasures.’
      • ‘The country's legendary bureaucracy is as labyrinthine as ever, and its legal system opaque, with separate laws for foreign and domestic investors.’
      • ‘These were important landmarks in the long battle to standardize the labyrinthine world of the law.’
      • ‘This is a labyrinthine complex of interconnecting political institutions, traditions and culture.’
      • ‘She also has one other potentially winning policy - the reform of the labyrinthine German tax system.’
      • ‘The friend was badly beaten before disappearing into the depths of the labyrinthine Nigerian justice system.’
      • ‘For a show that has the labyrinthine, seemingly nonsensical plots of a soap opera, that's a real accomplishment.’
      • ‘Instead of reform, the Government is building a labyrinthine system that is so complicated that even simple decisions cannot be made.’
      • ‘In the worst possible outcome, the labyrinthine tactics, Byzantine politics and convoluted logic will delay action.’
      • ‘In the process, he unravelled the labyrinthine means by which a painting bought by war profiteers and sold to German army looters found its way into the cultural heart of Britain.’
      • ‘What saves Auster's story from ponderousness is the sheer verve with which he follows his narrator through the labyrinthine plot.’
      • ‘Almodóvar's plots have always been wonderfully baroque and labyrinthine.’
      • ‘By focusing on simpler questions, economists escape getting sucked into the labyrinthine intricacies of the human brain.’
      • ‘It's about two people who get caught up in its labyrinthine politics and have to make contact across a gulf of personal strife and cultural difference.’
      • ‘Yet the appointment of it's Chief Officer is a labyrinthine affair conducted by various committees, panels, civil servants and most worryingly, politicians.’
      • ‘Truly staggering amounts of money, from a variety of well-meaning friends, disappeared into his labyrinthine system of debts, leaving nothing to show.’
      • ‘The labyrinthine diplomacy and politics of the Italian wars are the real subject of this painstaking book about what Jem meant to others.’
      complicated, intricate, complex, involved, tortuous, convoluted, tangled, elaborate, knotty
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