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complexify +‎ -er


complexifier (plural complexifiers)

  1. Someone or something that introduces complexity (into an issue or situation)
    • 1992 September, Philip E. Tetlock, “Good Judgment in International Politics: Three Psychological Perspectives”, in Political Psychology, volume 13, number 3, page 527:
      Whereas the complexifiers emphasize tolerance of ambiguity, contradiction, and change as critical ingredients for good judgment, the fundamentalists take a starkly different approach.
    • 2000, Joseph William Singer, Entitlement: The Paradoxes of Property, Yale University Press, page 213:
      The complexifiers seek to acknowledge and express the contradiction and to articulate reasons for resolving it one way or the other without reference to a single overarching theory or formula.
    • 2009, Uldis Roze, The North American Porcupine, Cornell University Press, page 14:
      Again and again, the porcupine has been a teacher, a storyteller of the woods, a complexifier and adorner of the world.
    • 2011, Scott Berkun, Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds, BookBaby, pt. 26:
      Complexifiers are averse to reduction. Instinctively they turn basic assignments into quagmires and reject simple ideas until they’re buried in layers of abstraction.
    • 2012, Michael Dalton Johnson, Rules of the Hunt, McGraw Hill, page 24:
      The Complexifier is well-meaning but annoying. The first words out of the Complexifier’s mouth are, “Yes but . . .”

Usage notes[edit]

The word can have positive and negative connotations, depending on the context and the speaker’s viewpoint. A complexifier may introduce much-needed complexity into an issue that would otherwise suffer from unwarranted oversimplification. Or a complexifier may make an essentially simple situation unnecessarily complex.

Further reading[edit]

  • Kelly Tyko (February 7, 2019), “Searches for 'apoplectic' and 'complexifier' are trending after Jeff Bezos fires back”, in USA Today[1], USA Today.



From complexe +‎ -ifier.


  • IPA(key): /kɔ̃.plɛ
  • (file)



  1. to complexify, complicate


Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]