Complicated vs Complex
Can you tell the difference between the level of difficulty of sending a rocket to Mars and kids to school to become well educated? Similarly, what do you term the work of a medical surgeon operating upon the brain of a patient trying to extract a brain tumor? Is it complex or complicated? But wait, are not the two words synonymous and mean the same? Despite there being similarities, there are differences in usage of the words complex and complicated that will be highlighted in this article.
We refer to anything that is hard to understand as being complicated. So a math problem may be complicated for us just because we are not able to understand it. A complicated problem seems to have a difficulty level too high for us. Even a game may have too many rules making it hard to understand, and we say that the game is too complicated for us.
Complicated is a word used as an adjective, to describe things and tools when they have many different parts that are interconnected. There can even be a medical condition termed as complicated. For example, problems arising out of a medical condition for the patient in terms of various symptoms are termed as the complications of the disease.
Human feelings can be sometimes too complicated to understand or explain. For example, a person may love his wife too much, yet he feels attracted to another woman in a way that he finds hard to explain.
Complex is an adjective that tells us that the thing, place, or person is intricate and hard to understand. The examples of everyday use of the word complex are complex personality, a complex situation, a complex compound or a molecule in chemistry showing bonds that are intricate. The word complex is used more in conjunction with technical things and buildings and structures than in social relationships.
A problem is termed complex when it has interrelated, interdependent parts and has features and parts that are constantly changing and unpredictable. The problem of terrorism is a complex one being linked with many other aspects of hatred, religious fundamentalism, racial discrimination, poverty, backwardness, ignorance, and so on.
There is another way of looking at a thing or a problem. When a thing performs as a whole and is much more than simply being a sum of all its parts, the thing or tool is termed as complex. For that matter, all life forms in nature are complex as the sum total is much more than the parts.
What is the difference between Complicated and Complex?
• Complex and complicated are near synonyms and are adjectives that are used almost interchangeably.
• However, complex is used more in science and math problems while complicated is used more in social relationships
• Medical conditions are also termed complicated and their symptoms as complications
• Complicated means something that is intricate and hard to understand
• Complex is something that has many parts that are interrelated though it may or may not be difficult to understand