1590s, "wrought by labor," from Latin elaboratus, past participle of elaborare "to exert oneself" (see elaboration). Meaning "very detailed" is from 1620s, via notion of "produced with great care and attention to detail." Related: elaborateness.
c. 1600, "to build up from simple elements," from Latin elaboratus, past participle of elaborare "to labor, endeavor, struggle, work out" (see elaboration). Meaning "to work out in detail" is attested from 1610s. Related: Elaborated; elaborating.
She elaborated on the main ideas in her dissertation
The bee elaborates honey
elaborate a plan
an elaborate lace pattern
the carefully elaborated theme