What does complexity mean?

Definitions for complexity
kəmˈplɛk sɪ ticom·plex·i·ty

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word complexity.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. complexity, complexnessnoun

    the quality of being intricate and compounded

    "he enjoyed the complexity of modern computers"


  1. complexitynoun

    The state of being complex; intricacy; entanglement.

  2. complexitynoun

    That which is and renders complex; intricacy; complication.


  1. Complexity

    Complexity characterises the behaviour of a system or model whose components interact in multiple ways and follow local rules, leading to nonlinearity, randomness, collective dynamics, hierarchy, and emergence.The term is generally used to characterize something with many parts where those parts interact with each other in multiple ways, culminating in a higher order of emergence greater than the sum of its parts. The study of these complex linkages at various scales is the main goal of complex systems theory. The intuitive criterion of complexity can be formulated as follows: a system would be more complex if more parts could be distinguished, and if more connections between them existed.Science as of 2010 takes a number of approaches to characterizing complexity; Zayed et al. reflect many of these. Neil Johnson states that "even among scientists, there is no unique definition of complexity – and the scientific notion has traditionally been conveyed using particular examples..." Ultimately Johnson adopts the definition of "complexity science" as "the study of the phenomena which emerge from a collection of interacting objects".


  1. complexity

    Complexity refers to the number of elements, components, attributes or characteristics within a system, situation, problem or phenomenon, as well as the intricacies of their interaction and interdependence. It denotes the degree of difficulty in understanding, analyzing, or solving something due to its many parts or details. Complexity often leads to unpredictability and uncertainty in outcomes or results.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Complexitynoun

    the state of being complex; intricacy; entanglement

  2. Complexitynoun

    that which is complex; intricacy; complication

  3. Etymology: [Cf. F. complexit.]


  1. Complexity

    In general usage, complexity tends to be used to characterize something with many parts in intricate arrangement. The study of these complex linkages is the main goal of complex systems theory. In science there are at this time a number of approaches to characterizing complexity, many of which are reflected in this article. Neil Johnson describes complexity science as the study of the phenomena which emerge from a collection of interacting objects. In a business context, complexity management is the methodology to minimize value-destroying complexity and efficiently control value-adding complexity in a cross-functional approach.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'complexity' in Nouns Frequency: #1698

How to pronounce complexity?

How to say complexity in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of complexity in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of complexity in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of complexity in a Sentence

  1. Aloo Denish Obiero:

    The true marvel of technology lies not in its complexity but in its ability to simplify the complex.

  2. Warren Bennis:

    What makes a good follower The single most important characteristic may well be a willingness to tell the truth. In a world of growing complexity leaders are increasingly dependent on their subordinates for good information, whether the leaders want to hear it or not. Followers who tell the truth and leaders who listen to it are an unbeatable combination.

  3. Syria Ramla Khalidi:

    It's an unprecedented crisis in terms of its complexity, year on year the amount of funding has increased and yet we see humanitarian needs also increasing, so I think we need to change the model, reduce humanitarian dependence and focus more funding on early recovery and resilience efforts.

  4. Tricia Ferrara:

    Initially, it is possible they may not have much to say, events like this sometimes defy language, and a teen may struggle to discuss. However, remain open for these emerging adults. They need to know that they matter and that the world's complexity is in dire need of their taking the time to think about and understand what it means to be global citizens.

  5. Greg Schmidt:

    My dad invited Rudy Kalman to give a lecture at Ames, and when he did, Dad had an epiphany, rudy Kalman had written a paper about a theoretical' linear' solution to estimating a vehicle's location and speed. The problem was that this was a fundamentally' nonlinear' problem ; that's like the difference in complexity between floating down a lazy river and going over a waterfall, where your motion becomes chaotic and unpredictable. My dad then developed the equations for how to solve this nonlinear problem -- a major extension of Kalman's work.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for complexity

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for complexity »


Find a translation for the complexity definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"complexity." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/complexity>.

Discuss these complexity definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for complexity? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    marked by sudden changes in subject and sharp transitions
    A busy
    B transparent
    C cosmopolitan
    D abrupt

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for complexity: