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The labyrinthine underside of the fungus Daedalea quercina.


From labyrinth +‎ -ine.


  • IPA(key): /læb.əˈɹɪn.θɪn/, /læb.əˈɹɪn.θin/, /læb.əˈɹɪn.θaɪn/
  • (file)


labyrinthine (comparative more labyrinthine, superlative most labyrinthine)

  1. Physically resembling a labyrinth; with the qualities of a maze.
    • 1996, Steen L. Jensen, H. Gregerson. M. H. Shokouh-Amin, F. G. Moody, (eds.), Essentials of Experimental Surgery: Gastroenterology, page 27/4
      In the pyloric canal, muscular ridges are more fixed than elsewhere and produce quite a labyrinthine surface.
    • 2011, Lincoln Child, Deep Storm, page 185
      Crane trotted along the labyrinthine corridors of deck 3, accompanied by a young marine with close-cropped blond hair.
  2. (figurative) Convoluted, baffling, confusing, perplexing.
    • 1996, Roger Ebert, Review of "American Buffalo":
      Mamet, like one of his characters, invents a labyrinthine, convoluted spiel leading nowhere, and like a magician distracts us with his words while elaborately not producing a rabbit from his hat.
    • 2000, Joseph J. Ellis, Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation, page 51
      Any attempt to answer that question would carry us into the labyrinthine corridors of Jefferson's famously elusive mind.
    • 2005, Michael W. Riley, "Plato's Cratylus: Argument, form, and structure", page 103
      By coupling "essence" with "name" within a series of contraposed pairs of names, Socrates indicates the point to which he thinks his labyrinthine argument has led so far in the Cratylus.


Related terms[edit]