Synonyms of complex
1 compoundDictionary • His complex compositions are built up of many overlapping layers.
compound • a tall shrub with shiny compound leaves
multiple • He died in hospital of multiple injuries.
composite • The chassis is made of a complex composite structure incorporating carbon fibre.
manifold (formal) • The difficulties are manifold.
heterogeneous • the heterogeneous society of today
multifarious • a composite of multifarious religions and people
2 complicatedDictionary • in-depth coverage of today's complex issues
complicated • a complicated voting system
difficult • It was a very difficult decision to make.
involved • The operation can be quite involved, requiring special procedures.
elaborate • a designer known for his elaborate costumes
tangled • His personal life has become more tangled than ever.
intricate • intricate patterns and motifs
tortuous • long and tortuous negotiations
knotty • The new management team faces some knotty problems.
labyrinthine • his failure to understand the labyrinthine complexities of the situation
, easy-peasy (slang)
1 structureDictionary • Our philosophy is a complex of many tightly interrelated ideas.
structure • The chemical structure of this particular molecule is very unusual.
system • a multi-party system of government
scheme • a private pension scheme
network • He is keen to point out the benefits which the family network can provide.
organization • the internal organization of the department
composite • Spain is a composite of diverse traditions and people.
2 obsessionDictionary (informal) • I have never had a complex about my weight.
obsession • yet another man with an obsession about football
preoccupation • Her main preoccupation from an early age was boys.
phobia • She has a phobia of spiders.
fixation • Somebody has a fixation with you.
idée fixe (French) • It is an idée fixe of mine that women work in a more concentrated way.
usage note:Although complex and complicated are close in meaning, care should be taken when using one as a synonym of the other. Complex should be used to say that something consists of several parts rather than that it is difficult to understand, analyse, or deal with, which is what complicated inherently means. In the following real example a clear distinction is made between the two words: the British benefits system is phenomenally complex and is administered by a complicated range of agencies.
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• a complicated voting system
compositeA composite object or item is made up of several different things, parts, or substances.
• The chassis is made of a complex composite structure incorporating carbon fibre.
compositeComposite is also a noun.
• Spain is a composite of diverse traditions and people.
Thesaurus for complex from the Collins English Thesaurus
made up of various interconnected parts; composite