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From French complicité, from Middle French, from Old French complice(accomplice), from Late Latin complic-, stem of complex(partner, confederate), from Latin complicō(fold together)


complicity (plural complicities)

  1. The state of being complicit; involvement as a partner or accomplice, especially in a crime or other wrongdoing.
    • 1854, Charles Dickens, Hard Times, ch. 32:
      He drew up a placard, offering Twenty Pounds reward for the apprehension of Stephen Blackpool, suspected of complicity in the robbery of Coketown Bank.
  2. (archaic) Complexity.[1]
    • 1861, Dr. Marx, "Musical Education and Instruction," The Musical Times, vol. 10, no. 220, p. 53:
      How easy is it, on the other hand, to an enlightened teacher, particularly in the beginning, to elucidate the various forms of rhythm by methodical arrangement in respect of simplicity and increasing complicity or mixture!


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  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1989.