I am looking for a word that describes something that is both complex (in the sense that it may overwhelm at first sight) and elegant at the same time.

The first word I could think of was "monstrosity" but I feel that carries too much of a negative connotation.

Specifically, this relates to describing my reaction to a vehicle.

I have attached the picture below to give an example.

enter image description here

  • 2
    Please tell us what you think elegant means. – Jim Oct 3 '15 at 23:00
  • 2
    In general, elegant means "surprising simplicity" (in the sense applied by mathematicians). I would not characterize that vehicle as possessing that quality. – Dan Bron Oct 3 '15 at 23:06
  • I was referring to elegance in terms of being "graceful and stylish." This, of course, is obviously subjective though. – Ghost Koi Oct 3 '15 at 23:23
  • I might just say, "Wow! That is certainly one "well-appointed" vehicle..." – Jim Oct 3 '15 at 23:24
  • "Sophisticated" , both 1) complex or intricate, as a system, process, piece of machinery and 2) having or showing refinement. – Graffito Oct 4 '15 at 0:11

I have a few single word suggestions:



Elaborately or highly decorated.



(of a machine, system, or technique) developed to a high degree of complexity.



Having or showing impressive beauty or scale.



Very complicated or detailed.

All of these words usually have a positive connotation of elegance and also of overwhelming complexity.


Indeed, I don't think there exists a single noun in English that embodies what you seek. Mr. Bron explains elegance well. The closest example I could think of to a small selection of vocabulary you seek is beautiful complexity.

  • Do you mean "beautiful complexity" or "beautifully complex"? – Jim Oct 3 '15 at 23:23
  • Curse this autocorrect. Beautiful complexity – Flynx Oct 3 '15 at 23:24

Not a single word, but I can come up with "gracefully massive"

  • graceful - (adj) characterized by elegance or beauty of form, manner, movement, or speech; elegant:

  • massive - very large and heavy

note: I can see no elegance or grace in that picture. As a matter of fact the vehicle doesn't seem to fit any definition of elegance.

protected by tchrist Oct 10 '17 at 2:11

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