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Meaning of complex

com•plex

Pronunciation: (adj., v.kum-pleks', kom'pleksn.kom'pleks), [key]
— adj.
  1. composed of many interconnected parts; compound; composite: a complex highway system.
  2. characterized by a very complicated or involved arrangement of parts, units, etc.: complex machinery.
  3. so complicated or intricate as to be hard to understand or deal with: a complex problem.
    1. (of a word) consisting of two parts, at least one of which is a bound form, as childish, which consists of the word child and the bound form -ish.
    2. Seecomplex sentence.
  4. pertaining to or using complex numbers: complex methods; complex vector space.
—n.
  1. an intricate or complicated association or assemblage of related things, parts, units, etc.: the entire complex of our educational system; an apartment complex.
  2. a system of interrelated, emotion-charged ideas, feelings, memories, and impulses that is usually repressed and that gives rise to abnormal or pathological behavior.
  3. a fixed idea; an obsessive notion.
    1. an arbitrary set of elements of a group.
    2. a collection of simplexes having specified properties.
  4. Also calleda compound in which independently existing molecules or ions of a nonmetalform coordinate bonds with a metal atom or ion. Cf. ligand (def. 2).
  5. an entity composed of molecules in which the constituents maintain much of their chemical identity: receptor-hormone complex, enzyme-substrate complex.
—v.t.
  1. to form a complex with.
—v.i.
  1. to form a complex.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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