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, 2015 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, 2015 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, 2015 at 23:23
  • I might just say, "Wow! That is certainly one "well-appointed" vehicle..."
    – Jim
    Oct 3, 2015 at 23:24
  • 1
    marvelous? ..
    – stevesliva
    Oct 4, 2015 at 3:28

3 Answers 3


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, 2015 at 23:23
  • Curse this autocorrect. Beautiful complexity
    – Flynx
    Oct 3, 2015 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.

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