Definitions for: Complex


[n] a whole structure (as a building) made up of interconnected or related structures
[n] a conceptual whole made up of complicated and related parts
[n] (psychoanalysis) a combination of emotions and impulses that have been rejected from awareness but still influence a person's behavior
[n] a compound described in terms of the central atom to which other atoms are bound or coordinated
[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"



Webster (1913) Definition: Com"plex, a. [L. complexus, p. p. of complecti to
entwine around, comprise; com- + plectere to twist, akin to
plicare to fold. See Plait, n.]
1. Composed of two or more parts; composite; not simple; as,
a complex being; a complex idea.

Ideas thus made up of several simple ones put
together, I call complex; such as beauty, gratitude,
a man, an army, the universe. --Locke.

2. Involving many parts; complicated; intricate.

When the actual motions of the heavens are
calculated in the best possible way, the process is
difficult and complex. --Whewell.

Complex fraction. See Fraction.

Complex number (Math.), in the theory of numbers, an
expression of the form a + b[root]-1, when a and b are
ordinary integers.

Syn: See Intricate.


Com"plex, n. [L. complexus]
Assemblage of related things; collection; complication.

This parable of the wedding supper comprehends in it
the whole complex of all the blessings and privileges
exhibited by the gospel. --South.

Complex of lines (Geom.), all the possible straight lines
in space being considered, the entire system of lines
which satisfy a single relation constitute a complex; as,
all the lines which meet a given curve make up a complex.
The lines which satisfy two relations constitute a
congruency of lines; as, the entire system of lines, each
one of which meets two given surfaces, is a congruency.

Synonyms: analyzable, building complex, Byzantine, colonial, complicated, composite, composite, compound, convoluted, coordination compound, decomposable, gordian, interlacing, interlinking, interlocking, interwoven, intricate, involved, knotty, labyrinthian, labyrinthine, mazy, multifactorial, multiplex, tangled, thickening, tortuous

Antonyms: simple

See Also: chemical compound, college, compound, construction, difficult, Electra complex, feeling, hard, hybrid, hydrochloride, industrial plant, inferiority complex, Oedipal complex, Oedipus complex, plant, ribbon development, structure, syndrome, whole, works

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Famous Quotes Containing Complex:


We have entered an age in which education is not just a luxury permitting some men an advantage over others. It has become a necessity without which a person is defenseless in this complex, industrialized society. We have truly entered the century of the educated man.

-- Lyndon B. Johnson (American President)

My songwriting and my style became more complex as I listened, learned, borrowed and stole and put my music together.

-- Boz Scaggs (American Musician)

I also wanted to do something that I hadn't really seen in almost any black novels, which was a complex love story in which both people were extremely intelligent and talented and understood a lot of things and were still at odds getting it together.

-- Stanley Crouch (American Critic)

Manufacturing takes place in very large facilities. If you want to build a computer chip, you need a giant semiconductor fabrication facility. But nature can grow complex molecular machines using nothing more than a plant.

-- Ralph Merkle (American Scientist)

I've had a tough time with Pynchon. I liked him very much when I first read him. I liked him less with each book. He got denser and more complex in a way that didn't really pay off.

-- Leslie Fiedler (American Critic)

There's no question that photographs communicate more instantly and powerfully than words do, but if you want to communicate a complex concept clearly, you need words, too.

-- Galen Rowell (American Photographer)

Another feature that everybody notices about the universe is that it's complex.

-- Seth Lloyd (American Educator)

All of life and human relations have become so incomprehensibly complex that, when you think about it, it becomes terrifying and your heart stands still.

-- Anton Chekhov (Russian Dramatist)

It's a complex fate, being an American, and one of the responsibilities it entails is fighting against a superstitious valuation of Europe.

-- Henry James (American Writer)

There have been times I almost got a persecution complex. I felt like people wouldn't let me grow up. They always saw me as a smiling kid or goofy teenager, no matter how much I'd changed.

-- Rick Schroder (American Actor)

Hip-hop isn't as complex as a woman is.

-- Talib Kweli (American Musician)

I would recommend it to everybody, every now and again you just put a dress on, see what it feels like, because it's, its interesting. A whole complex series of thoughts and feelings assail you as you look at yourself.

-- Tom Wilkinson (British Actor)

Writing a children's book means you cannot spin out long narratives or have complex character development.

-- Norman Macleod (Scottish Writer)

Did you know that the state is the proud owner of a condo complex in Conway? This budget adds a real estate manager position to assess what we own, and sell those properties that we don't need and shouldn't own.

-- John Lynch (American Politician)

A lot of the advertisement is done by saying: first of all, have a complex about who you are.

-- Isabella Rossellini (Italian Actress)

The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety.

-- H. L. Mencken (American Writer)

I played mostly games like Asteroids and Pac-Man. Today, when I go into an arcade, the games are much more difficult and complex. I don't think I could even play some of the video games that are out there today.

-- Brandi Chastain (American Athlete)

The world has become so complex that the idea of a power in which everything comes together and can be controlled in a centralized way is now erroneous.

-- Ulrich Beck (German Sociologist)

I think an artist's responsibility is more complex than people realize.

-- Jodie Foster (American Actress)

And um, when I came back to England I put a very complex soundtrack on it, featuring everyone from Jimi Hendrix, right through to Neil Diamond, you know, everybody that was kind of popular who was kind of popular at that time.

-- Gerald Scarfe (British Artist)

We must dare to think 'unthinkable' thoughts. We must learn to explore all the options and possibilities that confront us in a complex and rapidly changing world.

-- James W. Fulbright (American Politician)

Global terrorism is extreme both in its lack of realistic goals and in its cynical exploitation of the vulnerability of complex systems.

-- Jurgen Habermas (German Philosopher)

A self does not amount to much, but no self is an island; each exists in a fabric of relations that is now more complex and mobile than ever before.

-- Jean-Francois Lyotard ( Philosopher)

It's actually pretty complex, because there's two levels of reality in the narrative. One is what really took place, and the other is Spider's poisoned version of what took place.

-- Gabriel Byrne (Irish Actor)

Sharpe is my favorite role of all that I've played. He's a very complex character. He knows that he's a good soldier, but he will always have to fight the prejudice of aristocratic officers because of his rough working-class upbringing. On the battlefield, he's full of confidence - but off it, he is unsure, a bit shy and ill at ease.

-- Sean Bean (English Actor)

However, very recently I have come to an understanding that complex music is not necessarily pleasant.

-- Nobuo Uematsu (Japanese Composer)

It's so much easier to go to the Sony movie complex when you're disabled. You take a great elevator. You get your own little private viewing area. I love it.

-- Michael Zaslow (American Actor)

We are a complex species to observe.

-- Jasmine Guy (American Actress)

The mother-daughter relationship is the most complex.

-- Wynonna Judd (American Musician)

Since our complex societies are highly susceptible to interferences and accidents, they certainly offer ideal opportunities for a prompt disruption of normal activities.

-- Jurgen Habermas (German Philosopher)

Apparently, the most difficult feat for a Cambridge male is to accept a woman not merely as feeling, not merely as thinking, but as managing a complex, vital interweaving of both.

-- Sylvia Plath (American Poet)

The world has become more complex as technology and easy travel mixes cultures without homogenizing them.

-- Norman Spinrad (American Author)

I would suggest, merely as a metaphor here, but also as the basis for a scientific program to investigate the computational capacity of the universe, that this is also a reasonable explanation for why the universe is complex.

-- Seth Lloyd (American Educator)

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

-- Dwight D. Eisenhower (American President)

The universe extends beyond the mind of man, and is more complex than the small sample one can study.

-- Kenneth L. Pike (American Sociologist)


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