Definition of elaborate in English:

elaborate

adjective

  • 1Involving many carefully arranged parts or details; detailed and complicated in design and planning.

    ‘elaborate security precautions’
    ‘elaborate wrought-iron gates’
    • ‘For example, many firms operate elaborate security arrangements which look good but are actually useless.’
    • ‘The elaborate design, praised at its inception, now is being blamed for ballooning costs and several delays.’
    • ‘Archaeologists still debate why communities would have gone to such lengths to create these elaborate structures, even if they housed local elite families.’
    • ‘Columns supporting the roof were inlaid with elaborate, seemingly aimless designs; tantalizingly intricate, almost gaudy.’
    • ‘There were some matters the tribunal did not refer to although they could have, and some minor errors in relation to the details of this elaborate and complicated scheme.’
    • ‘The mainstays of the children's bedrooms up and down the country were on display too: teddy bears in their hundreds, dolls in elaborate boxes and puzzles designed to stretch young minds.’
    • ‘A very elaborate stage design will be adopted, costing US $2 million.’
    • ‘Security precautions were elaborate in the extreme.’
    • ‘The buildings were all made of white stone, built carefully with elaborate details, as if every family lived in a miniature castle.’
    • ‘This travel involves elaborate planning and discussions about eating.’
    • ‘Death is one of the most important events in society and is marked by most ethnic groups and religions by elaborate and lengthy funeral observances that involve the whole community.’
    • ‘On the night of the festival, people are expected to go to the streets to appreciate varying sorts of elaborate and brightly decorated lanterns, an often unforgettable experience.’
    • ‘And I think that's why he takes such elaborate security precautions.’
    • ‘Though the book's elaborate details might make slow going for many readers, it will serve as a valuable resource for scholars and political activists.’
    • ‘She looked as imperious and haughty as ever; her graying blue-silver hair swept up into an intricate coif, the elaborate detail of its design matching even her extravagant evening gown.’
    • ‘Rather than bore you with elaborate detail, I will simply sketch out in brief outline how the system would work.’
    • ‘After having done a series of simple, effective bookjackets for the bestselling crime writer, Chris was suddenly asked for an altogether more elaborate design.’
    • ‘In the case of this project, some of the students had made elaborate drawings with intricate details.’
    • ‘Narrators, for example, often provided elaborate details about the persons and locations involved in fairy stories.’
    • ‘Doorways, gates, and windows are carved with elaborate designs.’
    complicated, detailed, intricate, complex, involved, tortuous, convoluted, serpentine, tangled, knotty, confusing, bewildering, baffling
    ornate, decorated, embellished, adorned, ornamented, fancy, over-elaborate, fussy, busy, ostentatious, extravagant, showy, baroque, rococo, florid, wedding-cake, gingerbread
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1(of an action) lengthy and exaggerated.
      ‘he made an elaborate pretense of yawning’
      • ‘How do I know this isn't some elaborate scam designed to prey on the emotions of someone with a terminal loved one?’
      • ‘‘That sounds good,’ Cici said with an elaborate yawn, and laid her head on the side of the car.’
      • ‘The big summit meetings are elaborate rituals, ostentatious shows of power that reinforce the entitlement and authority of the bodies they represent.’
      • ‘Police say the device would not have exploded as there was no detonator attached and are describing the incident as an elaborate hoax designed to cause fear.’
      • ‘He didn't just make a mistake on the date; he told the story in elaborate detail.’
      • ‘Or is this an elaborate hoax designed to generate interest in a book deal?’
      • ‘Faking an elaborate yawn, I sneak a glance over my shoulder just in time to see her naked back as she leaves.’
      • ‘Sexual selection theory has proved extremely successful in explaining male ornaments, such as elaborate vocal and visual displays.’
      • ‘It is an elaborate, extravagant and bloated undertaking that not only throws in the kitchen sink but the fire extinguisher, too.’
      • ‘He took his pipe from his mouth and gave an elaborate yawn, which seemed to take him by surprise.’
      • ‘Against lesser quarterbacks, expect more gap-shooting and elaborate designs involving the back seven.’
      • ‘Maybe I'll find tomorrow, I live in hope, that the BBC article was just some kind of elaborate wind-up…’
      • ‘So plans were formed and we arranged the elaborate car-hopscotch required to ensure that no-one would drive home drunk.’

verb

  • 1[with object] Develop or present (a theory, policy, or system) in detail.

    ‘the key idea of the book is expressed in the title and elaborated in the text’
    • ‘But discussing its permutations also aids in elaborating the theory I am commending.’
    • ‘Esclangon elaborated a theory for these functions, studied their differentiation and integration, and examined the differential equations which allow them as coefficients.’
    • ‘Sitting in front of their seaside cottage, he elaborates his theory.’
    • ‘This strategy had been reversed when homeland policy was elaborated at that time.’
    • ‘Myrdal believed the same to be true of the neoclassical trade theory elaborated by Eli Heckscher and Bertil Ohlin.’
    • ‘We are often told that our movement lacks the persons of talent who might be capable of further elaborating Marx's theories.’
    • ‘They believe that they have elaborated a theory linking ventilation, cytokine release, and multiple organ system failure.’
    • ‘Depending on how this feature of a moral theory is elaborated, there will be more than one answer to the question of the effects of moral requirements on the motives of connection.’
    • ‘At this point, I shall briefly elaborate the theory of the global system based on the three spheres of economic, political, and culture-ideology transnational practices.’
    • ‘Rather, recognizing relevant facts and elaborating theories to explain them are two aspects of a single process: making our total view as coherent as we can.’
    • ‘Obrador rejected the workers' demands, saying that current plans were part of a more general municipal labor policy elaborated by the city.’
    • ‘While the failure of the book to engage in elaborating the theory of Bonapartism is a weakness, the avoidance of any serious debate concerning the writer's position in regard to Stalinism is regrettable.’
    • ‘He elaborates an original theory of identity to address issues surrounding the Trinity, one that has wider applicability in metaphysics.’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, he elaborates a theory of the relationship between music and money.’
    • ‘Afterwards we were walking though the labyrinthine corridors of the company basement where the training room is located, as he elaborated his theory about the trainer's sexuality and Abdir and I cracked up.’
    • ‘They represent interdependent components of the class policy elaborated by the dominant strata of the ruling elite.’
    • ‘This part ‘represents one of the few attempts, ancient or modern, to elaborate a theory of pragmatics and discourse grammar.’’
    • ‘We model these properties with a basic thermodynamic framework without the use of more elaborated theory as has been done previously.’
    • ‘While the survivor in the garden is doubly constructed as Jewish and female, her story serves more than a dual purpose in elaborating Semprun's theory of memory.’
    • ‘If she had done so, he would have had to elaborate his policy ambitions in detail.’
    narrate, relate, recount, tell, reveal, make known, disclose, divulge, present, communicate, report, recite, portray, spell out, give an account of, set forth, set out
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[no object]Add more detail concerning what has already been said.
      ‘he would not elaborate on his news’
      • ‘Later, he had made an honest error in refusing to elaborate on details of his credit card transactions which led him inadvertently into controversy.’
      • ‘A spokeswoman for the inquiry refused to elaborate on the concerns but said they would eventually be made public in a witness statement.’
      • ‘A secondary theme of the book is to identify and elaborate on the issues and beliefs that concerned Tagore all his life as a poet and a writer.’
      • ‘In this article, then, I will elaborate on these concerns and use some well-known poems.’
      • ‘It is likely that in listening to conversations or lecture materials you simultaneously translate into pictures which enhance and elaborate on the meaning.’
      • ‘These e-mails and comments often either correct mistakes I have made, or elaborate on posts already on the site.’
      • ‘He did not elaborate on concerns regarding the immigration office.’
      • ‘He declined to elaborate on the technical details.’
      • ‘The powerful farm lobby is not prepared to elaborate on its reportedly top level talks of recent days.’
      • ‘He wouldn't elaborate on details but hinted that the look of the series will be influenced by the hot reality genre.’
      • ‘The authority is refusing to elaborate on details of the claims.’
      • ‘Well, we really can't elaborate on the specific details.’
      • ‘You may elaborate on and enlarge the truth to a degree, but you are a person of high integrity and high standards of behavior.’
      • ‘He did not elaborate on the details of the different laws involved in the two cases.’
      • ‘They were genuinely intrigued by the story and felt little need to elaborate on what already seemed so outlandish.’
      • ‘Liu declined to elaborate on details of the bid.’
      • ‘I would like to continue to elaborate on the concerns Dr Smith put to the Committee.’
      • ‘Tune in at 4 am tomorrow, when I may feverishly elaborate on the details.’
      • ‘As a ratepayer I am most concerned by this statement and would ask Mr Bloxham to elaborate on what he means by ‘support’ and what extent of support is required.’
      • ‘He declined to elaborate on the details of the discussion and said he is not at liberty to discuss Cabinet meetings.’
  • 2Biology
    [with object] (of a natural agency) produce (a substance) from its elements or simpler constituents.

    • ‘In the later stages they elaborate the collagenous intercellular substance of the scar.’
    • ‘Uroisolate PU7, was found to elicit the maximum virulence factors elaborating extracellular enzymes, protease, elastase, phospholipase C, haemolysin and pyochelin.’
    • ‘Each elaborates its own protein repertoire, yet all came from an egg containing the only copy of the organism's genes.’
    • ‘The parietal cell of the stomach, which elaborates hydrochloric acid, is an example of such an eosinophilic cell.’
    • ‘Many amino acid and peptide hormones are elaborated by neural tissue, with ultimate impact on the entire system.’

Origin

Late 16th century (in the sense produced by effort of labor also elaborate of the verb): from Latin elaborat- worked out from the verb elaborare, from e- (variant of ex-) out + labor work.