complication

A complication is a difficult circumstance or a confused condition, like the complication you cause when you invite a dozen strangers to Thanksgiving dinner.

Complications can range from the one your teacher faces when you lose your pet snake in the classroom to the complications that occur during surgery, making recovery more difficult. The plot of your favorite book probably involves several complications for the characters, events or situations that make the ending uncertain or create a dilemma. Complication comes from the Latin complicāre, "to fold together," which makes sense since something with many folds is more complicated than something that's flat.

Definitions of complication
  1. noun
    the act or process of complicating
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    type of:
    hinderance, hindrance, interference
    the act of hindering or obstructing or impeding
  2. noun
    a situation or condition that is complex or confused
    “her coming was a serious complication
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    type of:
    situation, state of affairs
    the general state of things; the combination of circumstances at a given time
  3. noun
    a development that complicates a situation
    synonyms: ramification
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    type of:
    development
    a recent event that has some relevance for the present situation
  4. noun
    puzzling complexity
    synonyms: complicatedness, knottiness, tortuousness
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    type of:
    complexity, complexness
    the quality of being intricate and compounded
  5. noun
    any disease or disorder that occurs during the course of (or because of) another disease
    “bed sores are a common complication in cases of paralysis”
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    type of:
    disease
    an impairment of health or a condition of abnormal functioning
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