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1575, from Late Latin ēlabōrātus (worked out), past participle of ēlabōrō (to work out), from ē- (out, forth, fully) + labor (work, toil, exertion). More at e-, labour.


  • (file)
  • Adjective: ĭlă'bərət, IPA(key): /ɪˈlæbəɹət/
  • Verb: ĭlă'bərāt, IPA(key): /ɪˈlæbəɹeɪt/


elaborate (comparative more elaborate, superlative most elaborate)

  1. Highly complex, detailed, or sophisticated.
    After reading a long, elaborate description, I was impressed but no wiser.
  2. Intricate, fancy, flashy, or showy.
    I stared for hours at the elaborate pattern in the rug.
    • 1907, Robert William Chambers, chapter I, in The Younger Set (Project Gutenberg; EBook #14852), New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, published 1 February 2005 (Project Gutenberg version), OCLC 24962326:
      The house was a big elaborate limestone affair, evidently new. Winter sunshine sparkled on lace-hung casement, on glass marquise, and the burnished bronze foliations of grille and door.


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elaborate (third-person singular simple present elaborates, present participle elaborating, simple past and past participle elaborated)

  1. (intransitive) (used with on when used with an object) To give further detail or explanation (about).
    What do you mean you didn't come home last night? Would you care to elaborate?
    Could you elaborate on the plot for your novel for me?