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

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8 Answers 8

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"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. Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 1:22
  • +1 but better if you add a definition or at least a link
    – bib
    Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 1:25
  • well, you can define them as "convoluted"...
    – Oldcat
    Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 1:26
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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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You could try anfractuous:-

adj 1. characterized by twists and turns; convoluted

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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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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! Commented Jan 29, 2014 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. Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 2:06
  • …and a suffix too.
    – stib
    Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 6:05
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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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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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If something is intentionally convoluted, you might use obfuscated.

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