Definition of complex in English:

complex

adjective

  • 1Consisting of many different and connected parts.

    ‘a complex network of water channels’
    • ‘Three geostationary satellites and a complex network of ground stations will carry out the task.’
    • ‘There is a complex network of channels and what look like highways that have been laid out in a massive organized fashion.’
    • ‘Inside, a skylit atrium runs the full length of the building, connecting its richly complex spaces.’
    • ‘It claims that the financial proceeds of organised crime are used, via a complex network of intermediaries, to buy the company's cigarettes.’
    • ‘Accounting for new irreducibly complex structures by the foregoing mechanisms is a completely different proposition.’
    • ‘The condition is caused by damage to the complex network of nerves in the neck and shoulder when her arm became stuck behind her mother's pelvic bone during birth.’
    • ‘As the vocal folds consist of a complex web of different muscle fibres, the tension and density of vocal folds can vary considerably.’
    • ‘The complex wiring of old networks are gradually being replaced by a cleaner wireless environment.’
    • ‘The vehicle has four wheels all connected by complex machinery that simple minds like ours can't begin to describe.’
    • ‘Because of this, the structure of these converters are quite complex although easy to understand.’
    • ‘In Streedagh's sandhills, there lies a vast and complex network of rabbit burrows.’
    • ‘The plant's shoots receive nourishment from a complex network of connections to the roots.’
    • ‘The hips, on the other hand, are a very large and complex joint with many different muscles and attachments.’
    • ‘Keeping these elements in articulation as they move in different planes requires a complex joint.’
    • ‘It was fascinating how Mr Fox so quickly constructed that complex network of tunnels.’
    • ‘To reduce the harmful effects of exposure to DNA-damaging agents, the human genome has evolved a complex network of genome stability pathways.’
    • ‘Twins can be joined by the head, chest and pelvis, sometimes sharing organs and a complex network of blood vessels.’
    • ‘The impression one has when looking at maps of large-scale structure is that of a vast cosmic web, a complex network of intersecting chains and sheets.’
    • ‘Organisms such as fungi have evolved complex networks in which there are centralised and decentralised pathways to move nutrients around.’
    • ‘For me, there is a complex network of paths through the house, all centering on the study where my current project is available for instant scrutiny.’
    compound, composite, compounded, multiplex
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    1. 1.1 Not easy to analyze or understand; complicated or intricate.
      ‘a complex personality’
      ‘the situation is more complex than it appears’
      • ‘As I have noted a number of times, this is a highly complex issue.’
      • ‘The British press and wire services carried a far different and more complex story.’
      • ‘However, the wider international situation is increasingly complex.’
      • ‘Reaching political consensus on such complex issues is never easy, given the diversity of interests that must be addressed.’
      • ‘His files are protected by a very complex system of coding and firewalls.’
      • ‘Most studies also do not take into account the complex interplay between different variables in predicting lung volumes.’
      • ‘Miller's writing is excellent, and he makes some rather complex biochemistry easy to understand.’
      • ‘He was all about clarity, making sure people could understand complex stories.’
      • ‘Given these highly complex interactions, research in this area frequently yields contradictory conclusions.’
      • ‘In our highly divided and partisan political system, people tend to lack the ability to understand a complex reality.’
      • ‘In other words, the problems are much more complex than Mr. Baker understands or cares to discuss.’
      • ‘It is an enormously complex and difficult problem that defies easy solution.’
      • ‘They need time to formulate complex thoughts in an easy language.’
      • ‘Traffic flow is an extremely complex phenomenon and its complete understanding is quite difficult.’
      • ‘Web services are fine, until you start to deal with complex data structures across different platforms.’
      • ‘However, the whole matter of indirect tax liability is devilishly complex and difficult to understand.’
      • ‘This chapter is written in a clear, understandable style, making it easier to understand the complex legal issues discussed.’
      • ‘Aging is an intricate, complex process that involves many areas of your body.’
      • ‘The complex work involved intricate scheduling with cleanup crews and keeping myriad utilities happy.’
      • ‘Features of financial products are becoming far too complex for the common man.’
      complicated, involved, intricate, convoluted, tangled, elaborate, serpentine, labyrinthine, tortuous, impenetrable, byzantine, daedalian, gordian
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  • 2Mathematics
    Denoting or involving numbers or quantities containing both a real and an imaginary part.

    • ‘The same notions can be extended to polynomial equations involving complex numbers.’
    • ‘Bombelli was the first person to write down the rules for addition, subtraction and multiplication of complex numbers.’
    • ‘Mathematicians find uses for complex numbers in solving equations.’
    • ‘He also classified real and complex numbers into classes which are algebraically independent.’
    • ‘In addition to his work on geometry, Bolyai developed a rigorous geometric concept of complex numbers as ordered pairs of real numbers.’
  • 3Chemistry
    Denoting an ion or molecule in which one or more groups are linked to a metal atom by coordinate bonds.

    • ‘Carbohydrates can form more complex molecules when linked with other molecules.’
    • ‘Often the atoms comprising a complex molecule can be arranged in several ways and still satisfy the octet rule for each atom.’
    • ‘Biological processes, in turn, depend on the chemistry of complex molecules.’
    • ‘There are, as you would expect from the simplicity of the alcohol molecule, no complex hydrocarbons emitted.’
    • ‘This process occurs when oxygen atoms bond to an iron atom at the center of a complex protein molecule known as oxyhemoglobin.’

noun

  • 1A group of similar buildings or facilities on the same site.

    ‘a new apartment complex’
    ‘a complex of hotels’
    • ‘At a council planning meeting on Tuesday it was agreed to extend the uses of the building to include a business complex with conference facilities on the south of the site.’
    • ‘We had the devil of a time running the cable through the conduits which were built into the apartment complex I live in.’
    • ‘These especially go well in complexes and office buildings that have an architectural importance.’
    • ‘Fires at the base of the complex of seven office buildings sent heavy smoke throughout.’
    • ‘Through its connecting walkways, a person could potentially live inside the buildings forever, navigating the maze between apartment complexes, office towers and malls.’
    • ‘The company has expertise in building apartment buildings, shopping malls and office complexes.’
    • ‘Usually, such mock drills are only conducted in high-rise buildings and in shopping complexes, but they are essential also in slum areas.’
    • ‘Developments vary from apartment blocks and hotels to modern luxury complexes with swimming pools, solariums, restaurants and a host of other facilities.’
    • ‘He also expressed concern over other violations by real estate developers, who took small lakes and swampy areas in the northern part of the city as development sites for housing complexes.’
    • ‘About 70 families were left homeless by the fire, which destroyed three buildings in the apartment complex.’
    • ‘He has watched as new building complexes have risen over sites he knows contain more lost tombstones.’
    • ‘No one in their right mind would live here among the burned-out office buildings and development complexes.’
    • ‘Placing large parking lots around buildings means office complexes usually sit in the middle of an island of heat which requires more air conditioning.’
    • ‘Mr Young said despite rumours he has no plans to build an apartment complex on the site.’
    • ‘An increasing number of workers on low incomes are moving out as reasonably priced housing is replaced by expensive apartment complexes and luxury residential developments.’
    • ‘Dentists' offices, doctors' offices and markets were all built into the apartment complexes to make life more efficient.’
    • ‘The rehearsal room was a dilapidated building in a hospital complex.’
    • ‘They are normally installed with automatic closing devices in multiple residence buildings such as apartment complexes.’
    • ‘Plans for building museums in the complex have also been made.’
    • ‘Massive corporate campuses, large and numerous residential complexes and modern retail facilities have come up along this belt.’
    building, structure, development
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    1. 1.1 A group or system of different things that are linked in a close or complicated way; a network.
      ‘a complex of mountain roads’
      • ‘I find that a day that starts with a smile often carries on that way and my day did just that in spite of solemn moments and an occasional sadness mixed together in a complex of emotions.’
      • ‘Rather than being a single disease, it is in fact a complex of related diseases which include forms known as yellow mosaic and veinbanding.’
      • ‘The result is that we see her not in a single emotion, but a complex of emotions.’
      • ‘The problem is not how to choose between two possibilities, but how to relate and weigh a complex of motives.’
      • ‘‘Network’ includes a complex of interconnected computer or communication systems of any type.’
      • ‘Eventually, of course, they run into other such complexes expanding from different kernels.’
      • ‘The wheel itself was split into many different complexes.’
      • ‘The complex of field systems and large stone walls extend from the north western slopes of Mount Brandon to within the boundaries of Dingle.’
      • ‘It has been argued recently that the mind is a complex of conflicting and complementary memetic patterns seeking to reproduce.’
      • ‘It is part of a complex of closely related gull species that interbreed readily.’
      • ‘The ‘self’ is a complex of memories, thoughts, beliefs, desires etc. all of which can be doubted.’
      • ‘Structural studies revealed that cullin serves as a bridge to bring together different components of the complex.’
      network, system, interconnected scheme, interconnected structure, interconnected system, nexus, web, tissue
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  • 2Psychoanalysis
    A related group of emotionally significant ideas that are completely or partly repressed and that cause psychic conflict leading to abnormal mental states or behavior.

    • ‘Jung, Freud and comrades helped to systematise intuitive skill while deciphering some psychic complexes of their own Europe in turmoil.’
    • ‘Like Jack, David had a complex and conflicted history of diagnoses, treatments and medication.’
    • ‘The dark abyss of the mind and its complexes and obsessions must be conquered.’
    • ‘For about six to eight hours you seem to have no physical experience of the chronic muscular tensions that Reich says are symptomatic of unhealthy mental or emotional complexes.’
    • ‘I don't know if anyone has done any major writing comparing Jung's ideas of complexes and archetypes to electrical networks, but it would be a great thing to look into.’
    1. 2.1informal A disproportionate concern or anxiety about something.
      ‘there's no point having a complex about losing your hair’
      • ‘I've been lucky that the men I've fallen in love with have fallen in love with me, so I've never had that complex about the way I look.’
      • ‘He was also a bookworm who had a complex about his family's poverty and a fan of kung fu and violent movies.’
      • ‘Since then, the girl had believed she was not photogenic and gradually developed an inferiority complex.’
      • ‘Every minor flaw gets magnified and many even develop a complex about it.’
      • ‘But for the first time, many Americans were sophisticated enough to have developed a cultural inferiority complex.’
      • ‘The threatening letters, believed to be fake by many, only accentuated the fear complex.’
      • ‘I had such a complex about it that I never noticed that I was actually quite fair compared to everyone in the class.’
      • ‘He brought all his phobias and complexes to his film-making and whatever ingrained attitudes he had about women were also hauled along.’
      • ‘Perhaps I should get a complex about the Jonah joke.’
      obsession, phobia, fixation, preoccupation
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  • 3Chemistry
    An ion or molecule in which one or more groups are linked to a metal atom by coordinate bonds.

    • ‘Metal complexes are generally prepared by reacting a salt with another molecule or ion.’
    • ‘It correctly accounts for the structures of most covalent compounds of elements other than transition metal complexes.’
    • ‘Dyson and Welton used water and ionic liquid soluble organometallic clusters and complexes to catalyse hydrogenation of the aromatics.’
    • ‘It is known that metal cations form complexes with anionic phosphodiester groups and carbonyl oxygens in the glycerol backbone of phosphocholine lipids.’
    • ‘If two molecules or complexes have the same molecular formula they are candidates for stereochemical analysis.’
    1. 3.1 Any loosely bonded species formed by the association of two molecules.
      ‘cross-linked protein-DNA complexes’
      • ‘Recently two checkpoint sensor protein complexes have been shown to bind damaged DNA.’
      • ‘The chromo-domain and the related chromo-shadow domain mediate the formation of protein complexes and their association with chromatin.’
      • ‘It is not, however, clear whether association of ternary complexes is necessary to confer photoactivity, for instance by a stabilization effect.’
      • ‘This might occur in newly synthesized proteins to aid in folding or in mature proteins to control their activity or association with other protein complexes.’
      • ‘This clearly suggests that the newly formed species may correspond to complexes of PEI with heparin.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]usually be complexed
Chemistry
  • Make (an atom or compound) form a complex with another.

    ‘the DNA was complexed with the nuclear extract’
    ‘the complexed metal ion’
    • ‘Chloride is complexed with the silver chromate and fixed in a circular pattern around the entry point.’
    • ‘Iron is mostly complexed with the organic ligands or colloids that are very abundant in natural seawater.’
    • ‘However, as mammalian cells will not readily take up naked nucleic acids, the RNAs have to be complexed with agents such as cationic lipids to allow them to enter the cells.’
    • ‘Several membrane protein structures have been solved in which the protein is complexed with a specific lipid.’
    • ‘They may reduce mineral metal ions through direct contact or by reducing complexed ions.’

Origin

Mid 17th century (in the sense ‘group of related elements’): from Latin complexus, past participle (used as a noun) of complectere ‘embrace, comprise’, later associated with complexus ‘plaited’; the adjective is partly via French complexe.

Pronunciation

complex

/ˈkɑmplɛks/