Are you wondering whether you should use ‘complicated’ or ‘complex’ or what the difference is?
‘Complicated’ and ‘complex’ are synonyms. So you can use them interchangeably. However, there are times when these two words can have different meanings.
To learn more about these two words, read this guide. It contains definitions, synonyms, usage examples, and more.
Like most people, you probably use ‘complex’ and ‘complicated’ interchangeably. Many people do. That is because these two words are synonyms. A synonym is a word you can use instead of another.
If you look at these two words in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definitions are nearly identical, and ‘complicated’ is in the definition of ‘complex.’ Nevertheless, many people use ‘complex’ to describe something with many moving parts, but that does not mean it is difficult or convoluted.
‘Complicated,’ however, can indicate that something has more difficulty or advanced complexity or makes a situation more complex when it could be straightforward.
‘Complicated’ is an adjective that means a whole made of intricately combined parts or something challenging to understand, explain, and analyze.
The word ‘complex’ is a noun or adjective. It means something that is made up of complicated parts or something made up of more than one part or unit.
A group of apartment buildings, townhomes, or condos is often called a ‘complex.’
Having an unnatural fear or fixation with something is a ‘complex.’ You may hear people say this in terms like:
Chemists may use ‘complex’ to describe a compound or mixture in which there are multiple parts.
If you are looking for words to use instead of ‘complicated’ or ‘complex,’ there are plenty. Here are some of the synonyms you could use:
Take a look at these examples of ‘complex’ or ‘complicated’ used in sentences.
‘Complex’ describes something made of more than one part or parts that are challenging to separate. Here are some examples of ‘complex’ used in a sentence:
‘Complicated’ has virtually the same meaning as ‘complex.’ Here are some examples of ‘complicated’ in a sentence:
As mentioned, ‘complicated’ and ‘complex’ are synonyms. So, you can use ‘complicated’ or ‘complex’ interchangeably. Take a look:
As you can see in the examples above, a few of the sentences may sound better with one word or the other, but you can use either word.
Whether you send an email in the office or write a short story like Earnest Hemingway, repeating the same words makes your content feel repetitive. So, it helps to know words that you can use instead. Expanding your vocabulary can help you become a better writer. Here are a few other tips to help you improve your writing:
When trying to decide whether to use ‘complicated’ or ‘complex,’ the answer should be simple because you can use either. If you are writing a longer text, try using the two interchangeably. Using synonyms helps keep your audience engaged, and you appear more knowledgeable.