labyrinthine

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English[edit]

The labyrinthine underside of the fungus Daedalea quercina.

Etymology[edit]

From labyrinth +‎ -ine.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

labyrinthine (comparative more labyrinthine, superlative most labyrinthine)

  1. Physically resembling a labyrinth; with the qualities of a maze.
    • 1961 November, H. G. Ellison; P. G. Barlow, “Journey through France: Part One”, in Trains Illustrated, volume 14, number 158, page 670:
      As our train to Paris dashed through the labyrynthine flyovers at Porchefontaine, barely a mile from Versailles, the 75 m.p.h. limit was already almost attained.
    • 1996, Venkataraman Srinivasan; André Dubois, “Non-Human Primates”, in Steen Lindkær Jensen; {Hans Gregerson; Mohammad Hosein Shokouh-Amin; Frank G. Moody, editors, Essentials of Experimental Surgery: Gastroenterology[1], 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, 29, page 185:
      Crane trotted along the labyrinthine corridors of deck 3, accompanied by a young marine with close-cropped blond hair.
  2. (anatomy) Relating to the labyrinth of the inner ear.
    Synonyms: labyrinthal, labyrinthial, labyrinthian, labyrinthic, labyrinthical, labyrinthiform
  3. (figuratively) Convoluted, baffling, confusing, perplexing.
    Synonyms: baffling, confusing, convoluted
    • 1996 September 13, Roger Ebert, “American Buffalo movie review (1996)”, in Roger Ebert[2]:
      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 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.

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