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Does anyone know of a complicated, preferably large word that is synonymous with convoluted?

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I ask for a simple algorithm, and you give me a space-filling curve: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space-filling_curve There are various named types of space-fillers that may be substitutued for the general term. –  Wayfaring Stranger Jan 30 at 15:07

8 Answers 8

up vote 5 down vote accepted

"labyrinthine" and "Byzantine" are personal favorites. Perhaps you could combine them together with a hyphen.

labyrinthine comes from the myth of the Labyrinth of Crete, where Theseus fought the Minotaur. The passages were so twisty that nobody before him got out alive.

Byzantine is derived from an analogy the political twists and turns of the court of the Eastern Roman Empire.

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I spotted labyrinthine too. Good word, although perhaps not convoluted enough for the OP's wants. –  Bradd Szonye Jan 29 at 1:22
    
+1 but better if you add a definition or at least a link –  bib Jan 29 at 1:25
    
well, you can define them as "convoluted"... –  Oldcat Jan 29 at 1:26

If something is intentionally convoluted, you might use obfuscated.

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You could try anfractuous:-

adj 1. characterized by twists and turns; convoluted

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I've seen obfuscated used to mean something similar to this Google definition of convoluted:

(esp. of an argument, story, or sentence) extremely complex and difficult to follow

In particular, programmers sometimes write obfuscated code, which is described as being

source or machine code that is difficult for humans to understand.

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If it's describing convoluted language then sesquipedalian might fit the bill.

From Wictionary:

The practice of using long, sometimes obscure, words in speech or writing. From Latin sesquipedalis (“a foot and a half long; in metaphorical use, “of an unnatural length, huge, big””), from sesqui (“one and a half times as great”) + pedalis (“foot”)

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Heath Robinson esque
Stupidly detailed drawings and insane contraptions on the above website, but you'll see from this Google Books search that it's defined in Chambers (one word, with one hyphen).

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For best irony, I would start with a simple root word and decorate it with excessive prefixes and suffixes. Of the words suggested by thesaurus.com, I like undecipherable best for adding two prefixes meaning “not” to an Arabic root meaning “nought.”

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1  
Huh, never thought about that. Really, the word means something that cannot be made into not being nought—and when you consider than ‘not’ and ‘nought’ are the same word etymologically in English, that's an awful lot of zeroing out in just one word! –  Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 29 at 2:00
    
Good observation! I wish I'd noted that myself, so I've taken your musings as feedback and incorporated them into the answer. –  Bradd Szonye Jan 29 at 2:06
    
…and a suffix too. –  stib Jan 29 at 6:05

There were the "Rube Goldberg Machines"; which gave us Rube Goldbergian and Rube Goldberg adj. accomplishing something simple through complex means.

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