What does elaborate mean?

Definitions for elaborate
ɪˈlæb ər ɪt; -əˌreɪtelab·o·rate

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. elaborate, luxuriantadjective

    marked by complexity and richness of detail

    "an elaborate lace pattern"

  2. detailed, elaborate, elaboratedverb

    developed or executed with care and in minute detail

    "a detailed plan"; "the elaborate register of the inhabitants prevented tax evasion"- John Buchan; "the carefully elaborated theme"

  3. elaborate, lucubrate, expatiate, exposit, enlarge, flesh out, expand, expound, dilateverb

    add details, as to an account or idea; clarify the meaning of and discourse in a learned way, usually in writing

    "She elaborated on the main ideas in her dissertation"

  4. elaborateverb

    produce from basic elements or sources; change into a more developed product

    "The bee elaborates honey"

  5. complicate, refine, rarify, elaborateverb

    make more complex, intricate, or richer

    "refine a design or pattern"

  6. elaborate, work outverb

    work out in detail

    "elaborate a plan"


  1. elaborateverb

    (used with on when used with an object) To give further detail or explanation (about).

  2. elaborateadjective

    Highly complex, detailed, or sophisticated

    After reading a long, elaborate description, I was impressed but no wiser.

  3. elaborateadjective

    intricate, fancy, flashy, or showy

    I stared for hours at the elaborate pattern in the rug.

  4. Etymology: 1575, from elaboratus, past participle of elaboro, from e- + labor. More at e-, labour.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Elaborateadjective

    Finished with great diligence; performed with great labour.

    Etymology: elaboratus, Latin.

    Formalities of extraordinary zeal and piety are never more studied and elaborate than when politicians most agitate desperate designs. Charles I .

    At least, on her bestow’d
    Too much of ornament, of outward shew
    Elaborate; of inward, less exact. John Milton, Paradise Lost.

    Man is thy theme, his virtue or his rage
    Drawn to the life in each elab’rate page. Edmund Waller.

    Consider the difference between elaborate discourses upon important occasions, delivered to parliaments, and a plain sermon intended for the lower people. Jonathan Swift.

  2. To ELABORATEverb

    Etymology: elaboro, Latin.

    They in full joy elaborate a sigh. Edward Young.

    The sap is diversified, and still more and more elaborated and exalted, as it circulates through the vessels of the plant. John Arbuthnot, on Aliments.


  1. elaborate

    Elaborate refers to something complex, detailed, or intricate. It can also mean the action of explaining or describing something in a detailed or thorough manner.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Elaborateadjective

    wrought with labor; finished with great care; studied; executed with exactness or painstaking; as, an elaborate discourse; an elaborate performance; elaborate research

  2. Elaborateverb

    to produce with labor

  3. Elaborateverb

    to perfect with painstaking; to improve or refine with labor and study, or by successive operations; as, to elaborate a painting or a literary work

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Elaborate

    e-lab′or-āt, v.t. to labour on: to produce with labour: to take pains with: to improve by successive operations.—adj. wrought with labour: done with fullness and exactness: highly finished.—adv. Elab′orately.—ns. Elab′orateness; Elaborā′tion, act of elaborating: refinement: the process by which substances are formed in the organs of animals or plants.—adj. Elab′orative.—ns. Elab′orator, one who elaborates; Elab′oratory=Laboratory. [L. elaborāre, -ātume, out, laborārelabor, labour.]

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'elaborate' in Adjectives Frequency: #844

How to pronounce elaborate?

How to say elaborate in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of elaborate in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of elaborate in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of elaborate in a Sentence

  1. Elisabeth Hildebrand:

    In a certain sense, these early herders formed the first civilization of Eastern Africa with elaborate individual and community practices. In today's time of climate change and economic instability, we can all take a very important lesson from eastern Africa's first herders : Facing an equally challenging situation, they responded by coming together and strengthening their community.

  2. Dan Pendergast:

    We put six or seven trucks in a row, and we push all the snow simultaneously, from the left to right, and we use our computer systems in the truck which are pretty elaborate. That tells us how much salt we put down.

  3. Matt Schlapp:

    I think Michael Cohen is someone who, like Paul Manafort, had an elaborate scheme to not pay their taxes and committed a lot of financial crimes.

  4. Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski:

    We're aware that the British welfare system is very elaborate and that it may not be able to bear it. We are therefore addressing this by increasing our benefits, and we also want to raise salaries in Poland.

  5. The FBI:

    Justin Nojan Sullivan , 19 had elaborate plans to kill hundreds of innocent people to show Justin Nojan Sullivan , 19 support for the terrorist organization, ISIL.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for elaborate

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • توArabic
  • доразвивам, изпипвам, изкусен, подробен, сложенBulgarian
  • propracovaný, rozpracovat, rozvéstCzech
  • uddybe, detaljeretDanish
  • durchdacht, ausführlich, erarbeitenGerman
  • επεξεργάGreek
  • elaborarSpanish
  • välja töötama, üksikasjalik, detailne, rikkalik, viimistlemaEstonian
  • بادقت شرح دادنPersian
  • yksityiskohtainen, kehitellä, perusteellinen, kehittää, täsmentää, [[käsitellä]] [[yksityiskohtaisemmin]], [[selittää]] [[tarkemmin]], huoliteltu, taidokasFinnish
  • élaborerFrench
  • yl-chastManx
  • विस्तृतHindi
  • alaposan kidolgozott, kifejt, bonyolult, mélyrehatóHungarian
  • մանրամասնելArmenian
  • rumitIndonesian
  • ítarlegurIcelandic
  • approfondire, intricato, dettagliare, elaborato, elaborare, dettagliatoItalian
  • לְפַרֵטHebrew
  • 精巧なJapanese
  • 정교한Korean
  • amplificant,Latin
  • gedetailleerd, diepgaand, uitwerken, intrigerendDutch
  • utdypeNorwegian
  • rozwinąć, opracować, drobiazgowyPolish
  • argumentar, elaborarPortuguese
  • elaboratRomanian
  • конкретизировать, [[вдаваться]] [[в]] [[подробность, разрабатывать, подробный, [[тщательно]] [[сделанный]], доскональный, развивать, уточнять, искусный, замысловатый, скрупулёзный, продуманныйRussian
  • utveckla, elaborera, detaljeradSwedish
  • விரிவாகTamil
  • విTelugu
  • ทำอย่างละเอียดThai
  • ayrıntılı, detaylı, tafsilatlı, mufassal, teferruatlıTurkish
  • وسیعUrdu
  • kỹ lưỡngVietnamese
  • פּראָטיםYiddish
  • 阐述Chinese

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"elaborate." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/elaborate>.

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    not transmitting or reflecting light or radiant energy; impenetrable to sight
    A urban
    B sought
    C opaque
    D whirring

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