Advertisement

complex (adj.)

1650s, "composed of interconnected parts, formed by a combination of simple things or elements," from French complexe "complicated, complex, intricate" (17c.), from Latin complexus "surrounding, encompassing," past participle of complecti "to encircle, embrace," in transferred use, "to hold fast, master, comprehend," from com "with, together" (see com-) + plectere "to weave, braid, twine, entwine," from PIE *plek-to-, suffixed form of root *plek- "to plait."

The meaning "involved, intricate, complicated, not easily analyzed" is first recorded 1715. Complex sentence, for one containing one or more subordinate clauses in addition to the principal clause, is attested from 1776.

complex (n.)

1650s, "a whole comprised of interconnected parts," from complex (adj.). Latin completus as a noun meant "a surrounding, embracing, connection, relation." Psychological sense of "connected group of repressed ideas" was established by C.G. Jung, 1907.

Others are reading

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of complex from WordNet
1
complex (n.)
a conceptual whole made up of complicated and related parts;
the complex of shopping malls, houses, and roads created a new town
Synonyms: composite
complex (n.)
a compound described in terms of the central atom to which other atoms are bound or coordinated;
Synonyms: coordination compound
complex (n.)
(psychoanalysis) a combination of emotions and impulses that have been rejected from awareness but still influence a person's behavior;
complex (n.)
a whole structure (as a building) made up of interconnected or related structures;
Synonyms: building complex
2
complex (adj.)
complicated in structure; consisting of interconnected parts;
a complex set of variations based on a simple folk melody
a complex mass of diverse laws and customs
complex (adj.)
difficult to analyze or understand;
he's more complex than he seems on the surface
Synonyms: complicated
From wordnet.princeton.edu