elaborate

Use the adjective elaborate when you want to describe how something is very detailed or especially complicated, like a devilish prank planned out weeks in advance.

The adjective elaborate is used to describe when something is planned with a lot of attention to detail or when something is intricate or detailed itself. The word comes from the Latin elaborare, which means "to produce by labor" but it has come to mean a lot of labor, especially work that is very complicated and precise. To imagine this word, think of a painting with lots of flourishes or a story with many sub-plots and characters that all fit together in extensive ways.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: elaborate

1
adjv
marked by complexity and richness of detail
add details, as to an account or idea; clarify the meaning of and discourse in a learned way, usually in writing
2
v
produce from basic elements or sources; change into a more developed product
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: elaborate
1

adj marked by complexity and richness of detail

“an elaborate lace pattern”
Synonyms:
luxuriant, ornate
fancy
not plain; decorative or ornamented

adj developed or executed with care and in minute detail

“"the elaborate register of the inhabitants prevented tax evasion"- John Buchan”
Synonyms:
detailed, elaborated
careful
exercising caution or showing care or attention

v 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”
Synonyms:
dilate, enlarge, expand, expatiate, exposit, expound, flesh out, lucubrate
Antonyms:
abbreviate, abridge, contract, cut, foreshorten, reduce, shorten
reduce in scope while retaining essential elements
cut, edit, edit out
cut and assemble the components of
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Types:
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detail
provide details for
exposit, expound, set forth
state
exemplify, illustrate, instance
clarify by giving an example of
particularise, particularize, specialise, specialize, specify
be specific about
depict, describe, draw
give a description of
premise
set forth beforehand, often as an explanation
spell out
make explicit; specify in detail
Type of:
clarify, clear up, elucidate
make clear and (more) comprehensible

v work out in detail

elaborate a plan”
Synonyms:
work out
work out, work up
come up with
Type of:
develop, make grow
cause to grow and differentiate in ways conforming to its natural development

v make more complex, intricate, or richer

Synonyms:
complicate, rarify, refine
Types:
involve
make complex or intricate or complicated
develop
elaborate by the unfolding of a musical idea and by the working out of the rhythmic and harmonic changes in the theme
sophisticate
make more complex or refined
Type of:
alter, change, modify
cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
2

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

“The bee elaborates honey”
Type of:
create, make, produce
create or manufacture a man-made product

WORD FORMS

adj
marked by complexity and richness of detail
1 elaborate
vv
add details, as to an account or idea
produce from basic elements or sources
2 elaborate
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