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:


Lynch is not as strange as his films. He's a complex guy with a very interesting view of the world. But he's very accessible, with a good heart.

-- Kyle MacLachlan (American Actor)

Intellectual property is an important legal and cultural issue. Society as a whole has complex issues to face here: private ownership vs. open source, and so on.

-- Tim Berners-Lee ( Inventor)

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)

I'm interested in locating the holy grail of the minimum means to express the most complex ideas.

-- Ben Nicholson (British Artist)

The inferior complex is now extended to all Europe, save Nordics.

-- Emanuel Celler (American Politician)

If it had remained always my band, my natural tendency would have been to get more complex and arrange things more and more. That wouldn't necessarily be good for Eddie, or anyone else in the band.

-- Stone Gossard (American Musician)

I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.

-- Walt Disney (American Cartoonist)

Physics is becoming so unbelievably complex that it is taking longer and longer to train a physicist. It is taking so long, in fact, to train a physicist to the place where he understands the nature of physical problems that he is already too old to solve them.

-- Eugene Wigner (American Physicist)

Baseball just a came as simple as a ball and bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes. A sport, a business and sometimes almost even a religion.

-- Ernie Harwell (American Celebrity)

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)

They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong.

-- Ronald Reagan (American President)

This country has a complex about age. It's unbelievable. If you're over thirty, you've had it in this country.

-- Eli Wallach (American Actor)

Every advertisement should be thought of as a contribution to the complex symbol which is the brand image.

-- David Ogilvy (English Businessman)

Woman are complex creatures.

-- Talib Kweli (American Musician)

When I first began, the technicians, camera and makeup men made me feel so self-conscious that I began to have the biggest inferiority complex about my looks.

-- Jessie Matthews (British Actress)

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)

What we do is as American as lynch mobs. America has always been a complex place.

-- Jerry Garcia (American Musician)

Some people suggest that the problem is the separation of powers. If you had a parliamentary system, the struggle for power would not result in such complex peace treaties that empower so many different people to pursue so many contradictory aims.

-- James Q. Wilson (American Politician)

Complex, statistically improbable things are by their nature more difficult to explain than simple, statistically probable things.

-- Richard Dawkins (English Scientist)

For me, literature is a complex game, both mental and concrete, which is acted out in a physical manner on the page.

-- Guillermo Cabrera Infante (Cuban Novelist)

A sarcastic person has a superiority complex that can be cured only by the honesty of humility.

-- Lawrence G. Lovasik ( Clergyman)

In complex trains of thought signs are indispensable.

-- George Henry Lewes (English Philosopher)

Global conditions are far too complex to be able to imagine that they could ever be really controlled by one power.

-- Ulrich Beck (German Sociologist)

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

-- Norman Macleod (Scottish Writer)

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)

The Connection Machine was the most powerful supercomputer in the world. It is a complex supercomputer and it will take forever to completely describe how it works.

-- Philip Emeagwali ( Scientist)

The Architect is just one of a series of works which examine the confrontation of innocence and experience, illustrating the complex ethics of power that exist between reader and writer, critic and artist, the human and the divine.

-- John Scott ( -)

The fundamental laws necessary for the mathematical treatment of a large part of physics and the whole of chemistry are thus completely known, and the difficulty lies only in the fact that application of these laws leads to equations that are too complex to be solved.

-- Paul Dirac (British Physicist)

To be complex does not mean to be fragmented. This is the paradox and the genius of our Canadian civilization.

-- Adrienne Clarkson (Canadian Journalist)

I wanted to portray very, very dark subject matter and a deceptively complex story in the brightest colours and simplest lines possible to leave the readers reeling.

-- Mark Millar (Scottish Writer)

I searched so hard for a part that was so complex.

-- Anne Heche (American Actress)

As experimentation becomes more complex, the need for the co-operation in it of technical elements from outside becomes greater and the modern laboratory tends increasingly to resemble the factory and to employ in its service increasing numbers of purely routine workers.

-- John Desmond Bernal (Irish Scientist)

I'm a bit of a worrier, to an extreme. I'll crack a joke, then worry if I've offended someone - even when they're laughing. I have a guilt complex, always worrying.

-- Sophia Bush (American Actress)

There are many true statements about complex topics that are too long to fit on a PowerPoint slide.

-- Edward Tufte (American Educator)

Border security is a complex issue and will remain a top priority during the 2007 legislative year. As Congress works to fix this problem, I will continue to push for strong measures that beef up security at our borders.

-- Randy Neugebauer (American Politician)


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