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Complexity   /kəmplˈɛksəti/  /kəmplˈɛksɪti/   Listen
Complexity

noun
(pl. complexities)
1.
The quality of being intricate and compounded.  Synonym: complexness.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Complexity" Quotes from Famous Books



... their nature when one takes into account that they are observed phenomena. While the physicist withdraws from consideration the part of the observer in the verification of physical phenomena, our role is to renounce this abstraction, to re-establish things in their original complexity, and to ascertain in what the conception of matter consists when it is borne in mind that all material phenomena are known only in their relation to ourselves, to our bodies, our nerves, and ...
— The Mind and the Brain - Being the Authorised Translation of L'me et le Corps • Alfred Binet

... of the complexity of financial problems and questions of taxation in this State, we are anxious that the financier appointed should be of such a standing as to command the confidence of all, so that his recommendations cannot raise any ulterior discussion. ...
— The Transvaal from Within - A Private Record of Public Affairs • J. P. Fitzpatrick

... work well, made a great thought in steel and cement. And then the business men and bureaucrats had made the great thought a curse. There was in the Subway all the romance which story-telling youth goes seeking: trains crammed with an inconceivable complexity of people—marquises of the Holy Roman Empire, Jewish factory hands, speculators from Wyoming, Iowa dairymen, quarreling Italian lovers, with their dramatic tales, their flux of every human emotion, under the city mask. But however striking these dramatic characters ...
— The Job - An American Novel • Sinclair Lewis

... chief Barnacles being rather hurried (for they had it in hand just then to send a mail or two which was in danger of going straight to its destination, beating about the seas like the Flying Dutchman, and to arrange with complexity for the stoppage of a good deal of important business otherwise in peril of being done), went their several ways; with all affability conveying to Mr and Mrs Meagles that general assurance that what they ...
— Little Dorrit • Charles Dickens

... benefited himself and hurt us." The prosecution of Aeschines for malversation on the embassy (commonly known as De falsa legatione), which was brought to an issue in the following year, marks the moral strength of the position now held by Demosthenes. When the gravity of the charge and the complexity of the evidence are considered, the acquittal of Aeschines by a narrow majority must be deemed his condemnation. The speech "On the Affairs of the Chersonese" and the Third Philippic were the crowning efforts of Demosthenes. Spoken in the same year, 341 B.C., and within a short space of ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 2 - "Demijohn" to "Destructor" • Various

... seemed not less old than the face of Helen—of Medea—of Ariadne; not less old and not less imperishably beautiful. Neither spoke of her idyll turned to a crowder's song. Knowing that there were no words which she could bear, he waited, his mind filled with deep pity, hers with God knows what complexity, what singleness of feeling, until at last a low sound—no intelligible word—came from her throat. The plumed fan dropped the length of its silken cord, and her hands went out for help that should ...
— Sir Mortimer • Mary Johnston

... austerity of the superficial of both sexes. But can you, beneath the undeceptive light of day, turn a sere and unattractive hag into the substantial image of a young and beguiling maiden, and by a further complexity into a fruitful fig-tree; or induce a serpent so far to forsake its natural instincts as to poise on the extremity of its tail and hold ...
— Kai Lung's Golden Hours • Ernest Bramah

... that the main sphere carried, not the planet itself, but the centre or axis of a subordinate sphere, and that the planet was carried by this. The minor sphere could be allowed to revolve at a different uniform pace from the main sphere, and so a curve of some complexity could ...
— Pioneers of Science • Oliver Lodge

... particular points of the organization. The brain of man, which exceeds that of all other animals in complexity of organization and fulness of development, is, at one early period, only 'a simple fold of nervous matter, with difficulty distinguishable into three parts, while a little tail-like prolongation towards the hinder parts, and which had been the first to ...
— A Theory of Creation: A Review of 'Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation' • Francis Bowen

... "being impressed by beauty" which unscientific aestheticians imagined as analogous to "being impressed by sensuous qualities," by hot or cold or sweet or sour, is in reality a combination of higher activities, second in complexity and intensity only to ...
— The Beautiful - An Introduction to Psychological Aesthetics • Vernon Lee

... too much attenuated: then indeed he puffed with a perceptible agitation, until he had reinstated the vapoury awning—which done he immediately recovered his equanimity. But as to White Hat, by the complexity of his man[oe]uvres for disguising his interest in the conversation about him—by uniformly shifting his chair upon the approximation of any other chair—and by the jealous anxiety with which he affected to turn away his head if any person were talking near him, he made it sufficiently ...
— Walladmor: - And Now Freely Translated from the German into English. - In Two Volumes. Vol. I. • Thomas De Quincey

... an advocate asserting the justice, or his belief in the justice, of his client's cause. Those who contend for such indulgence argue that the profession is an instrument for the administration of justice: he is to do all he can for his client: the application of laws is a matter of great complexity and difficulty: that the right administration of them in doubtful cases is best provided for if the arguments on each side are urged with the utmost force. The advocate is ...
— An Essay on Professional Ethics - Second Edition • George Sharswood

... the complexity of the situation—the furtive paternity, with its bewildered sense of responsibility, in conflict with the passion of ...
— The Vehement Flame • Margaret Wade Campbell Deland

... remove from all complexity, will be the next word—the word that follows the last, ...
— Imaginary Interviews • W. D. Howells

... universe of ours—space and all it contains—is a thing of five dimensions, a continuum we have never begun to contemplate in its true complexity and immensity. There are three of its dimensions with which we are familiar. Our normal senses perceive and understand them—length, breadth and thickness. The fourth dimension, time, or, more properly, ...
— Wanderer of Infinity • Harl Vincent

... something else in his pocket besides a badge. And I am perfectly certain that under certain circumstances he would have handled it instantly, and shot me dead between the gay bookstall and the crowded trams. And that is the last touch to the complexity; for though in that country it often seems that the law is made by a lunatic, you never know when the lunatic may not shoot you for keeping it. Only in the presence of that citizen of Oklahoma I feel I am confronted with the fullness and depth of the mystery of ...
— What I Saw in America • G. K. Chesterton

... of properties, and of the physical conditions of primitive volition, and traces in the evolution of mind and its organs, as in the evolution of other functions and their organs, a progressive specialization and increasing complexity." ...
— A Book of Natural History - Young Folks' Library Volume XIV. • Various

... book fanciers blowing themselves out with "the wind on the heath, brother," and of anarchists who are either too weak to understand that men are strong and free in proportion to the social pressure they can stand and the complexity of the obligations they are prepared to undertake, or too strong to realize that what is freedom to them may be terror and bewilderment to others, will drive them back to the home and the school if these have meanwhile learned the lesson ...
— A Treatise on Parents and Children • George Bernard Shaw

... undergoes a parallel transformation." But a little reflection suggests to us that such a philosophy is vitiated by the assumption involved in the word "matter," and that the philosophy of history is in fact left exactly where it was before. The superior complexity of high civilization is a familiar social fact which gains nothing in clearness by the importation of mechanical ...
— Lectures and Essays • Goldwin Smith

... little girl, on looking at an illustration of Little Brother and Sister, remarked, "If my Sister would turn into a fawn I would cry." When the animals are terrifying, the transformation contains horror for the child. This, together with the length and complexity of the story, would move Beauty and the Beast up into the second grade where the same transformation becomes an element of pleasure. A simple tale of transformation, such as The Little Lamb and the Little Fish, in which Gretchen becomes ...
— A Study of Fairy Tales • Laura F. Kready

... of this mollusc and the eye of the vertebrate must have developed quite independently, ages after each had been separated from the parent stock. Again, we find that in all organic evolution, infinite complexity of structure accompanies the utmost simplicity of function. The variation of an organ so highly complex as the eye must involve the simultaneous occurrence of an infinite number of variations all co-ordinated to the simple end of vision. Such facts as these are ...
— Bergson and His Philosophy • J. Alexander Gunn

... there is a central district which differs in a marked manner from that outside in the far greater strength and complexity of the phenomena. As this district includes the epicentre, it is sometimes referred to as the epicentral area, but the term meizoseismal area is more appropriate, and ...
— A Study of Recent Earthquakes • Charles Davison

... with the least sway. In school matters centralization rules absolutely, and to that extent the schools have been forcibly drawn away from the people, and the development has lain in the direction of complexity of educational system, rather than in that of perfecting the children in the rudiments of scholarship. Of late years we have taught our boys how to sew, even if we did neglect their spelling. This increases ...
— New York at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis 1904 - Report of the New York State Commission • DeLancey M. Ellis

... phenomena which are not explicable by Physics; Biology embraces phenomena which are not explicable by Chemistry; and no biological generalization will enable us to predict the infinite specialities produced by the complexity of vital conditions. So Social Science, while it has departments which in their fundamental generality correspond to mathematics and physics, namely, those grand and simple generalizations which trace out the inevitable ...
— The Essays of "George Eliot" - Complete • George Eliot

... combined together, wherein inherited qualities are crossbred, wherein special traits have accumulated in such a way as to produce the most original and the most sensitive of beings. As civilization increases, so does his complexity: with the result that man's originality strengthens and his sensitivity become keener; from which it follows that the more civilized he becomes, the greater his repugnance to constraint ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 4 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 3 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... of this relationship must not be regarded as an attempt unduly to narrow down the causation of changes in the birth-rate. The great complexity of the causes influencing the birth-rate is now fairly well recognized, and has, for instance, been pointed out by Goldscheid, Hoeherentwicklung ...
— The Task of Social Hygiene • Havelock Ellis

... worry,' says our author, 'compared with which perhaps all others are trivial, lies in the complexity of human affairs, especially in such an era of civilization as our own.' There can be no doubt of it. In these modern days, we are encumbered and weighed down with the appliances, physical and moral, which have come to be regarded ...
— The Recreations of A Country Parson • A. K. H. Boyd

... joyful recognition of the flaxen hair and light blue eyes of the Turks. But it is still the abstract principle of Professor Harnack which interests me most; and in following it I have the same complexity of enquiry, but the same simplicity of result. Comparing the Professor's concern about "Teutonism" with his unconcern about Belgium, I can only reach the following result: "A man need not keep a promise he has made. But a man ...
— The Appetite of Tyranny - Including Letters to an Old Garibaldian • G.K. Chesterton

... of Scotland, though it is now done away with even there, still more farther south, and its place supplied and its work done by overshot and under-shot wheel-gear, and improved machinery attached, of less or more complexity. One of the most recent improvements is the Turbine, a sort of Barker's mill; it is of great power, small compass, and acts under a good fall with a minimum ...
— Lectures on Popular and Scientific Subjects • John Sutherland Sinclair, Earl of Caithness

... Kosovo. While maintaining ultimate oversight, UNMIK continues to work with the EU and Kosovo's local provisional government to accelerate economic growth, lower unemployment, and attract foreign investment to help Kosovo integrate into regional economic structures. The complexity of Serbia and Kosovo's political and legal relationships has created uncertainty over property rights and hindered the privatization of state-owned assets in Kosovo. Most of Kosovo's population lives in rural towns outside of the largest city, Pristina. ...
— The 2007 CIA World Factbook • United States

... to the roof, and these were all inlaid with mother-of-pearl, with fine copper and silver arabesques of amazing complexity. Every minutest architectural detail had been carved out of the solid gold dyke that had formed the city; nothing had been added to fill out any portion. The imagination was staggered at thought of the infinite skill and labor required for such a task. The ...
— The Flying Legion • George Allan England

... the integration which accompanies growth tends in itself to set free mental power to work improvement, there is, both with increase of numbers and with increase in complexity of the social organization, a counter tendency set up to the production of a state of inequality, which wastes mental power, and, as it increases, ...
— English Prose - A Series of Related Essays for the Discussion and Practice • Frederick William Roe (edit. and select.)

... could never be made to care for them with her. She was nearer now to giving them up, to giving up everything for his sake, than when she had sat alone with him out on the prairie. She realized this with an added complexity of emotion; but even yet, ...
— Ben Blair - The Story of a Plainsman • Will Lillibridge

... peculiar and an especially welcome consecration to that perceptible play in him of the inbred "public school" character the bloom of which his short life had too little time to remove and which one wouldn't for the world not have been disposed to note, with everything else, in the beautiful complexity of his attributes. The fact was that if one liked him—and I may as well say at once that few young men, in our time, can have gone through life under a greater burden, more easily carried and kept in its place, of being liked—one liked absolutely everything ...
— Letters from America • Rupert Brooke

... themselves under his hand like living things; words flowed easily from their abundant reservoir. Yet the peril, which he soon grew to perceive, was that his outfit of emotional experience, his knowledge of human life in its breadth and complexity, was very narrow and limited. He had seen life only under a single aspect, and that an aspect which, poignant and intense as it was, did not easily lend itself to artistic treatment. The result was that his outlook was a narrow ...
— Beside Still Waters • Arthur Christopher Benson

... British people, it met with an immediate response alike in the home islands, and in the Colonies, in India, or elsewhere, wherever they happened to be. In order to understand the problems of no small complexity confronting the statesmen at home and the generals who in the field had to carry out the will of the nation by taking up the gauntlet so thrown down, it is necessary, first, that the characteristics of the vast area which was about to become the scene of operations should be realised; secondly, ...
— History of the War in South Africa 1899-1902 v. 1 (of 4) - Compiled by Direction of His Majesty's Government • Frederick Maurice

... expression may either refer to rotation of service or to distribution of parts in the chorus. They did not sing in unison, grand as the effect of such a song from a multitude sometimes is, but they had their several parts. The harmonious complexity of a great chorus is the ideal for the Church. Paul puts the same thought in a sterner metaphor when he tells the Colossian Christians that he joys 'beholding your order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ,' ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... realize at first the true complexity of the situation that he was inclined, when he heard of the news, to treat the crisis in the jaunty, dashing, love-laughs-at-locksmith fashion so popular with young men of spirit when thwarted in their loves by the interference of parents ...
— The Man with Two Left Feet - and Other Stories • P. G. Wodehouse

... home. But though Donatello's immediate influence on Paduan art was decisive (and its ramifications soon extended to Venice), he was himself influenced by his fresh surroundings, and his native bent towards complexity was increased. He assimilated many of the local likes and dislikes. If Gattamelata had been erected in some Florentine square there would have been less ornament; if Colleone had been commissioned for Siena there would have been less braggadocio. Leonardo never recovered his Tuscan frame of mind ...
— Donatello • David Lindsay, Earl of Crawford

... constantly repeated assertions that Christ has done all for us, and that we have nothing to do, and can do nothing? To answer this question, we have to remember that that scriptural expression, 'salvation,' is used with considerable width and complexity of signification. It sometimes means the whole of the process, from the beginning to the end, by which we are delivered from sin in all its aspects, and are set safe and stable at the right hand of God. It sometimes means one or other of three different parts of that ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... strange complexity of our being, compelling us to view ourselves in both a separate and a conjunct way, which creates all the difficulty in the problem of self-sacrifice. But I dare say that when I have thus shown the reality and worth of the conjunct self, it will be felt that self-sacrifice is altogether ...
— The Nature of Goodness • George Herbert Palmer

... The complexity of our life appears in the number of our material needs. It is a fact universally conceded, that our needs have grown with our resources. This is not an evil in itself; for the birth of certain needs is often a mark of progress. To ...
— The Simple Life • Charles Wagner

... Dewan sent for Chunerbutty and took counsel with him, as being more conversant with European ways. And the result was a cunning and elaborate plot, such as from its very tortuousness and complexity would appeal to the heart of ...
— The Elephant God • Gordon Casserly

... nationalities, French, Belgian, and German, went by in couples, in rows, their eyes flaming invitations. Children with orange coloured hair sold matches and were followed down suspicious alleys; a strange hurried life, full of complexity, had begun in the twilight before the lamplighters went by. Girls and boys scrambled after each other quarrelling and selling newspapers. The spectacle helped the time away between four o'clock and seven. At seven she turned ...
— A Mummer's Wife • George Moore

... sorry he had climbed the stairway, sorry he had solved the mystery of the brocade gown, sorry he had lied, sorry, frenziedly sorry that whatever new thing slipped into his life, no matter how simple and beautiful it seemed, took on the familiar complexity fatal to his peace ...
— Kenny • Leona Dalrymple

... utilizing the force of recoil in a discharged firearm to actuate the mechanism of ejecting and reloading. I do, however, admit, as I did at the outset, that in respect of details the case had unusual features. It developed a high degree of complexity." ...
— The Woman in Black • Edmund Clerihew Bentley

... shoulder its own partnership obligations by undertaking projects of such complexity and size that their success requires Federal development. In keeping with this principle, I again urge the Congress to approve the development of the Upper Colorado River Basin to conserve and assure better use of precious water essential to the ...
— State of the Union Addresses of Dwight D. Eisenhower • Dwight D. Eisenhower

... than ever in her anger, and he was taken by surprise at the impetuous and instinctive guess she had made at the complexity of his moods, which he himself scarcely understood. For a moment he stood inert, embarrassed by her straight, half-scornful glance—then he regained his usual mental poise and smiled with provoking good humour ...
— The Secret Power • Marie Corelli

... condition of success was to make the mountain country accessible. Only those who have had the fortune to travel through this country can realize how difficult this endeavor has been and must continue to be, chiefly because of the great local complexity of the mountain system, but also because of the severely destructive storms of this region, with consequent torrential violence of the streams affected. But little money, too, can be, or has been, spent for the ...
— The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon From Ifugao to Kalinga • Cornelis De Witt Willcox

... these rational limits will enable the benefits of popular control to be enjoyed in conjunction with the no less important requisites (growing ever more important as human affairs increase in scale and in complexity) of skilled legislation and administration. There are no means of combining these benefits except by separating the functions which guaranty the one from those which essentially require the other; by disjoining ...
— Considerations on Representative Government • John Stuart Mill

... artificially made up out of most valuable fertilisers, such as nitrate of soda, sulphate of ammonia, superphosphate, &c., so as to closely resemble in its composition guano, is by no means similar in its effects to the genuine article. As in farmyard manure, so in guano: we must look to the complexity of the composition of both these fertilisers in order to fully estimate their worth. There is in the action of both manures much that we cannot explain, or even, as yet, understand. The action of guano is merely one of many ...
— Manures and the principles of manuring • Charles Morton Aikman

... Loudon," it began, "I labour far into the night getting our affairs in order; you could not believe their vastness and complexity. Douglas B. Longhurst said humorously that the receiver's work would be cut out for him. I cannot deny that some of them have a speculative look. God forbid a sensitive, refined spirit like yours should ever come face to face with a Commissioner in ...
— The Wrecker • Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

... profound sympathy. It ran up and down in furrows. "So," he muttered, "the sister of the Archbishop, the Countess of Dashleigh!" Accustomed as he was to the life of the aristocracy, even the Great Detective felt that there was here intrigue of more than customary complexity. ...
— Nonsense Novels • Stephen Leacock

... of the arrangement and relations of the millions of stars forming the Milky Way was shown to be capable of experimental treatment, and of at least partial solution, notwithstanding the variety and complexity seen to prevail, to an extent previously undreamt of, in the arrangement of that majestic system. The existence of a luminous fluid, diffused through enormous tracts of space, and intimately associated with stellar bodies, was virtually ...
— A Popular History of Astronomy During the Nineteenth Century - Fourth Edition • Agnes M. (Agnes Mary) Clerke

... groups. Great society and the social order. Great society protects voluntary organizations. The widening influence of the church. Growth of religious toleration. Altruism and democracy. Modern society a machine of great complexity. Interrelation of different parts of society. The progress of the race based on social opportunities. The central idea ...
— History of Human Society • Frank W. Blackmar

... itself to us as evolution in time and complexity in space. Regarded in time, it is the continuous evolution of a being ever growing older; it never goes backwards and never repeats anything. Considered in space, it exhibits certain coexisting ...
— Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic • Henri Bergson

... hash, hodgepodge; hotch-potch^, hotch-pot^; imbroglio, chaos, omnium gatherum [Lat.], medley; mere mixture &c 41; fortuitous concourse of atoms, disjecta membra [Lat.], rudis indigestaque moles [Lat.] [Ovid]. complexity &c 59.1. turmoil; ferment &c (agitation) 315; to-do, trouble, pudder^, pother, row, rumble, disturbance, hubbub, convulsion, tumult, uproar, revolution, riot, rumpus, stour^, scramble, brawl, fracas, rhubarb, fight, free-for-all, row, ruction, rumpus, embroilment, melee, spill and ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... due to the country, either for goods exported or on any other account. The existence of these two distinct modes in which money flows into a country, while other commodities are habitually introduced only in the first of these modes, occasions somewhat more of complexity and obscurity than exists in the case of other commodities, and for this reason only is any special ...
— Principles Of Political Economy • John Stuart Mill

... non-intercourse is not achieved. At the present time Germany is buying and selling and trading with the outside world, cables from Berlin are being sent almost as freely to New York as cables from London and German merchants are making contracts, maintaining connections of very considerable complexity. But if this machinery of non-intercourse were organized as it might be, there would be virtually no neutrals, and its effect in our world ...
— New York Times Current History: The European War, Vol 2, No. 1, April, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... comparing different societies, or successive stages of the same societies. The author then examines the evolution of governments, general and local, as this is determined by natural causes; their several types and metamorphosis; their increasing complexity and specialization, and the progressive limitation of their functions. From political the author turns to ecclesiastical organization. He traces the differentiation of religious government from ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume XIV • John Lord

... years, that the distinctiveness and glory of the Poet reside not in his vaunted dramas of the passions, but those founded on the contests of English dynasties, and the French wars,) but form, as we get it all, the chief in a complexity of puzzles. Conceiv'd out of the fullest heat and pulse of European feudalism—personifying in unparallel'd ways the mediaeval aristocracy, its towering spirit of ruthless and gigantic caste, with its own peculiar air and arrogance (no mere imitation)—only one ...
— Complete Prose Works - Specimen Days and Collect, November Boughs and Goodbye My Fancy • Walt Whitman

... of things, but leaving them for the rest to their own inherent tendencies. As distinguished from them it was, he conceived, the one thing which was absolutely pure and unmixed. All things else had intermixture with every other, the mixtures increasing in complexity towards the centre of things. On the outmost verge were distributed the finest and least complex forms of things—the sun, the moon, the stars; the more dense gathering together, to form as it were in the centre of ...
— A Short History of Greek Philosophy • John Marshall

... a delicate electuary made up of varied savors and subtle colors, which can be more easily felt than measured or defined. Its very superiority consists in the complexity, the association of contraries, the skillful combination it implies. The man of to-day, fashioned by the historical and geographical influences of twenty countries and of thirty centuries, trained and modified by all the sciences ...
— Amiel's Journal • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... cloyed. A wisdom more imperative and more profound was to put a term to the comfortable wisdom of learning. All the balance of judgement, the easy, slow convictions, the broad grasp of things, the vision of their complexity, the pleasure in their innumerable life—all that had to be given up. Fanaticisms were no longer entirely to be despised, just appreciations and a strong grasp of reality no longer ...
— The Path to Rome • Hilaire Belloc

... of nature as a complex of related entities, the 'complex' is fact as an entity for thought, to whose bare individuality is ascribed the property of embracing in its complexity the natural entities. It is our business to analyse this conception and in the course of the analysis space and time should appear. Evidently the relations holding between natural entities are themselves natural entities, namely ...
— The Concept of Nature - The Tarner Lectures Delivered in Trinity College, November 1919 • Alfred North Whitehead

... airily on his native rocks, with two claws as usual. True, in these cases the tail and the claw don't bud out in turn into a new lizard or a new lobster. But that is a penalty the higher organisms have to pay for their extreme complexity. They have lost that plasticity, that freedom of growth, which characterizes the simpler and more primitive forms of life; in their case the power of producing fresh organisms entire from a single ...
— Science in Arcady • Grant Allen

... organic, and in the conscious or psychological memory, seeing that the analogies between them are so numerous and precise. Consciousness is but an adjunct which arises when the physical processes, owing to infrequency of repetition, complexity of operation, or other causes, involve what I have before called ...
— Luck or Cunning? • Samuel Butler

... into the canyon. But we knew every step of the winding trail and followed them in fancy through that fairy scene of mystic wonderland. We knew how the great elms and the poplars and the birches clinging to the snowy sides interlaced their bare boughs into a network of bewildering complexity, and how the cedars and balsams and spruces stood in the bottom, their dark boughs weighted down with heavy white mantles of snow, and how every stump and fallen log and rotting stick was made a thing of beauty by the snow that had fallen so gently on them ...
— The Sky Pilot • Ralph Connor

... suspended pen merely hovered. She had fancied that her resolve, once fairly taken, would not stumble over a simple matter of detail. But when she had tried a dozen times to begin the letter to Mr. Galbraith, the simplicities vanished and complexity stood ...
— The Price • Francis Lynde

... see how small was his responsibility in the matter of life. He had crushed and injured this other human being, his wife, to whom he had come nearest, just as a dirty hand might soil and crumple a fine fabric. But she no longer reproached him, if she ever had; she understood the sad complexity of a fate that had brought into the hand the fabric to be tarnished. And what she could accept, others must, the world must, to whom the Prestons are but annoyances ...
— The Web of Life • Robert Herrick

... reverenced by all alike, had never made any confidential advances to him. Probably the deeply-read student and simple-natured man failed to appreciate the more brilliant, if less profound, scholarship of the orator, and the vacillation and complexity of his character. While Cicero loaded him with praises and protestations of friendship, Varro appears to have maintained a somewhat cool or distant attitude. At last, however, this reserve was broken through. In 47 B.C. he seems to have promised Cicero to dedicate ...
— A History of Roman Literature - From the Earliest Period to the Death of Marcus Aurelius • Charles Thomas Cruttwell

... women, and children, too, are such strange creatures, that one never can be certain that he really knows them; nor ever guess what they have been from what he sees them to be now. Judge Pyncheon! Clifford! What a complex riddle—a complexity of complexities—do they present! It requires intuitive sympathy, like a young girl's, to solve it. A mere observer, like myself (who never have any intuitions, and am, at best, only subtile and acute), is pretty certain to ...
— The House of the Seven Gables • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... raps bestowed upon the Teutonic offender, he is warned against the error of thinking that "provided he can make himself understood, the historian has the right to use a faulty, low, careless, or clogged style.... Seeing the extreme complexity of the phenomena he must endeavour to describe, he has not the privilege of writing badly. But he ought always to write well, and not to bedizen his prose with ...
— Introduction to the Study of History • Charles V. Langlois

... transition from the one style to the other is managed so felicitously, and the sympathies between them are so well developed, that there is no discord. What we here call Gothic, is conceived in a truly southern spirit, without fantastic efflorescence or imaginative complexity of multiplied parts; while the Renaissance manner, as applied by Tommaso Rodari, has not yet stiffened into the lifeless neo-Latinism of the later cinquecento: it is still distinguished by delicate inventiveness, and beautiful subordination of decorative detail to architectural effect. ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete - Series I, II, and III • John Symonds

... that intellectually considered the brute is the image of man just as much as man is the image of God, the difference being quantitative and not qualitative. Evolutionists claim that "man's superiority over the brute results from greater complexity and superior development of the brain." Now if man, as they say, once lived the life of the brute, and his superiority now is simply quantitative, why is it that his inferiors of to-day are not passing into real manhood? They are far superior ...
— The Christian Foundation, Or, Scientific and Religious Journal, - Volume I, No. 10. October, 1880 • Various

... Labour Unrest in the Press is to have learnt quite a lot about the methods of popular thought. And among other things I see now much better than I did why patent medicines are so popular. It is clear that as a community we are far too impatient of detail and complexity, we want overmuch to simplify, we clamour for panaceas, we are a collective invitation ...
— An Englishman Looks at the World • H. G. Wells

... if it seems to you that it can be most successfully attended to in schools, then consider whether the introduction of it, and of all the other branches having equal claims, will, or will not give to the common schools too great a complexity. Consider whether it will succeed in the hands of ordinary teachers. Consider whether it will require so much time and effort, as will draw off, in any considerable degree, the attention of the teacher from the more essential parts of his duty. All will ...
— The Teacher - Or, Moral Influences Employed in the Instruction and - Government of the Young • Jacob Abbott

... nevertheless some correct rules of morality, as an external practical concern, had the advantage of enjoining them, as far as it chose to do so, with the force of superstition, a stronger authority with a rude conscience than that of plain simple religion. That system exercised a mighty complexity and accumulation of authority, all avowedly divine; by which it could artificially augment, or rather supersede, the mere divine prescription of such rules, making itself the authority and prescriber; and thus could infix them in ...
— An Essay on the Evils of Popular Ignorance • John Foster

... tremulous, transparent inner man, or ghost—does not exist. The Oriental Ego is not individual. Nor is it even a definitely numbered multiple like the Gnostic soul. It is an aggregate or composite of inconceivable complexity,—the concentrated sum of the creative thinking of previous ...
— Kokoro - Japanese Inner Life Hints • Lafcadio Hearn

... has its own regulating centre, the size of the area representing any group depending upon the character and complexity of the movements performed by the muscles, rather than upon the amount of muscular tissue that is governed by the centre—for example, the centre for the mouth, tongue, and vocal cords is larger than that for ...
— Manual of Surgery Volume Second: Extremities—Head—Neck. Sixth Edition. • Alexander Miles

... intended that theory as anything more than a geometrical fiction. It is not to be regarded as a representation of the actual celestial motions. And, as might be expected, for such is the destiny of all unreal abstractions, the theory kept advancing in complexity as facts accumulated, and was on the point of becoming altogether unmanageable, when it was supplanted by the theory of universal gravitation, which has ever exhibited the inalienable attribute of a true theory—affording ...
— History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, Volume I (of 2) - Revised Edition • John William Draper

... that silly Charmian creature in the very hour of a triumph. Yet she did not wish to see Charmian even the neglected wife of a great celebrity. Her feelings were rather complex. But she had always been at home with complexity. ...
— The Way of Ambition • Robert Hichens

... in physics. We are not yet in a condition to grapple with it, but we shall be by-and-by. Meanwhile we may profitably glance back on the web of relations which these experiments reveal to us. We have, firstly, in solar light an agent of exceeding complexity, composed of innumerable constituents, refrangible in different degrees. We find, secondly, the atoms and molecules of bodies gifted with the power of sifting solar light in the most various ways, and producing by this sifting the colours observed in nature ...
— Six Lectures on Light - Delivered In The United States In 1872-1873 • John Tyndall

... personality"—to borrow a phrase from some psychologists—is a very difficult matter, even when we are masters of our detail. There is a proportion, a perspective, a balance, a poise about a character—my terms may involve some mixture of metaphors, but if the mixture brings out the complexity and difficulty of our task, it will be justified. Above all there is life, and as a life deepens and widens, it grows complex, unintelligible, and wonderful. It is more so than ever in the case of Jesus. Yet we have to grapple with this great task, if we are to know him, even ...
— The Jesus of History • T. R. Glover

... attained in no other way, than by the steady application of rules and principles; and these must be made as few and as general as the case will admit, that the memory of the learner may not be overmatched by their number or complexity. Rules founded on the analogy of similar words, and sanctioned by the usage of careful writers, must be taken as our guides; because common practice is often found to be capricious, contradictory, and uncertain. That errors and inconsistencies ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... of contour the basket tray shown in Fig. 287 has a somewhat more decided claim upon esthetic attention than the preceding, as the curves exhibited mark a step of progress in complexity and grace. How much of this is due to intention and how much to technical perfection must remain in doubt. In work so perfect we are wont, however unwarrantably, to ...
— A Study Of The Textile Art In Its Relation To The Development Of Form And Ornament • William H. Holmes

... communicable to it alone. The art of Egypt, with its supreme architectural effects, is, according to Hegel's beautiful comparison, a Memnon waiting for the day, the day of the Greek spirit, the humanistic spirit, with its power of speech. Again, painting, music, and poetry, with their endless power of complexity, are the special arts of the romantic and modern ages. Into these, with the utmost attenuation of detail, may be translated every delicacy of thought and feeling, incidental to a consciousness brooding with delight over itself. Through their gradations of shade, their exquisite intervals, ...
— The Renaissance - Studies in Art and Poetry • Walter Pater

... the almost complete absence of documents, gives them an appearance of immobility, by which we are liable to be unconsciously deceived; when the monuments still existing shall have been unearthed, their history will present the same complexity of incidents, the same agitations, the same instability, which we suspect or know to have been characteristic of most other Oriental nations. One thing alone remained stable among them in the midst of so ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 1 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... comprehending the complexity of her feelings. Ditmar had not apologized or feigned an altruism for which she would indeed have despised him. The ruthlessness of his laugh—the laugh of the red-blooded man who makes laws that he himself may be lawless shook her ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... visits to the South he had got an impression of the extreme complexity and difficulty of the problem which Mr Washington was so nobly striving to solve. It was no wonder that it should be difficult, seeing that the whites had such a long start of the coloured people in civilisation. He believed that ...
— From Slave to College President - Being the Life Story of Booker T. Washington • Godfrey Holden Pike

... this is not learning. It is a vicious system of cramming, which can do no good. When you have thoroughly familiarised yourself with the actual facts proceed to fix these facts in your memory by my System. In dealing with facts of such complexity as the origin and insertion of muscles, it may be needful to have free recourse to the assistance of homophones, &c. In the whole of anatomy there is no task so difficult as that of learning the precise attachments of the muscles of ...
— Assimilative Memory - or, How to Attend and Never Forget • Marcus Dwight Larrowe (AKA Prof. A. Loisette)

... astronomers of the day traced the wanderings of the heavenly bodies, 'an image of the starry heaven, with its infinitely winding paths, in which, nevertheless, the sun and moon so surely move about.' Among rationalizing explanations this must surely hold the palm for cumbrousness and complexity, and we may be thankful that the explorer's spade has demolished it along with other theories, and given back to us, as we shall see, at least the elements of a romance such as that which was so dear to ...
— The Sea-Kings of Crete • James Baikie

... must sustain me by your strength. When looking for the fulfillment of reasonable requirements, you will not be unmindful of the great changes which have occurred, even within the last quarter of a century, and the consequent augmentation and complexity of duties imposed in the administration both of ...
— U.S. Presidential Inaugural Addresses • Various

... contrary, it furnishes us with conclusive reasons for thinking that, if every link in the ancestry of these humble indigenous plants had been preserved and were accessible to us, the whole would present a converging series of forms of gradually diminishing complexity, until, at some period in the history of the earth, far more remote than any of which organic remains have yet been discovered, they would merge in those low groups among which the Boundaries between animal and vegetable life ...
— Evolution and Ethics and Other Essays • Thomas H. Huxley

... gazing in wonder at a perfect machine, with its soul of fire, its boiler-heart that sent the hot blood pulsing along the iron arteries, and its thews of steel. And while I was admiring the adaptation of means to end, the harmonious involutions of contrivance, and the never-bewildered complexity, I saw a grimed and greasy fellow, the imperious engine's lackey and drudge, whose sole office was to let fall, at intervals, a drop or two of oil upon a certain joint. Then my soul said within me, See there a piece of mechanism to which that other you marvel at is but as ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell • James Lowell

... I saw an extract from Lecoq, 'Geograph. Bot.,' and ordered it and hoped that it was a good sized pamphlet, and nine thick volumes have arrived!"), a plant which reveals even a more wonderful condition of sexual complexity than that of Primula. For in Lythrum there are not merely two, but three castes, differing structurally and physiologically ...
— The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Volume II • Francis Darwin

... tell me you think he was to blame?" Lydia said, in a low tone charged with her own complexity of sentiment. She was horror-stricken chiefly. Esther saw that, and looked at her in a ...
— The Prisoner • Alice Brown

... What a complexity of strange coincidences combined, coming out of nothing as it were, advancing like spirits summoned on to the stage, all to effect this end! Think of the American Colonies; with one little exception they were perhaps the most completely non-Catholic ...
— First and Last • H. Belloc

... subdivisions, severally become more coherent within themselves and more definitely marked off. The process parallels completely that by which the parts of an individual organism pass from their initial state of simplicity to their ultimate state of complexity. ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. VI (of X)—Great Britain and Ireland IV • Various

... caustic, yet not without a good degree of justice; the sagacity of his remarks on the past, and prophecies of what was likely to happen,—prophecies which, in one instance, were singularly verified, in regard to a complexity which was then arresting the attention ...
— The Ancestral Footstep (fragment) - Outlines of an English Romance • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... general principle of right arrangement in sentences, which we have traced in its application to the leading divisions of them, equally determines the proper order of their minor divisions. In every sentence of any complexity the complement to the subject contains several clauses, and that to the predicate several others; and these may be arranged in greater or less conformity to the law of easy apprehension. Of course with these, as with the larger members, ...
— The Philosophy of Style • Herbert Spencer

... accustomed to concrete and logical definitions than their critics and expositors of the twentieth century. Simple explanations of ancient beliefs are often by reason of their very simplicity highly improbable. Recognition must ever be given to the puzzling complexity of religious thought in Babylonia and Egypt, and to the possibility that even to the priests the doctrines of a particular cult, which embraced the accumulated ideas of centuries, were invariably confusing and vague, and full of inconsistencies; they were mystical ...
— Myths of Babylonia and Assyria • Donald A. Mackenzie

... high purpose we had marked out for ourselves, and we had no notion of the obscure paths of tolerance, just allowance, and self-blame wherein, if we held our minds open, we might learn something of the mystery and complexity of life's purposes. ...
— Twenty Years At Hull House • Jane Addams

... exasperating. The constant friction that is inevitable under such conditions—conditions such as existed for me in the home of my attendant—can only aggravate the mental disturbance. Especially is this true of those laboring under delusions of persecution. Such delusions multiply with the complexity of the life led. It is the even-going routine of institutional life which affords the indispensable quieting effect—provided that routine is well ordered, and not defeated by annoyances imposed by ignorant or indifferent doctors ...
— A Mind That Found Itself - An Autobiography • Clifford Whittingham Beers

... cannot test and measure the material of psychology with the same definiteness and accuracy that the chemist applies to the subject-matter of his department; but that may be due to want of knowledge, or to the extreme complexity and variability of the matter with which we are dealing. And if it were true that the same tests could not be applied in psychology that are applied elsewhere, this would be no cause for scientific despair. It would only mean that ...
— Religion & Sex - Studies in the Pathology of Religious Development • Chapman Cohen

... fault. But only those who have weighed the importance of the diplomatic issues at stake, and have noted their warping influence on military affairs, have the right to accuse him of blindness and presumption. The problem before him was of unexampled complexity, and its solution could be effected only by a succession of experiments. That he put forth too many efforts at one time may be granted; and yet in each case, if the details are fully known, the reasons for making the attempt seem adequate. Did not Chatham fail in most of the expeditions ...
— William Pitt and the Great War • John Holland Rose

... seems to have been strong, and Onatas, whose name is closely connected with Aegina, and who is contemporary with the presumably later portion of this monument, was above all a worker in bronze. Here again, in this lurking spirit of metal-work, we have a new element of complexity in the character of these precious remains. And then, to compass the whole work in our imagination, we must conceive yet another element in the conjoint effect; metal being actually mingled with the marble, brought thus to its daintiest point of ...
— Greek Studies: A Series of Essays • Walter Horatio Pater

... knows what numerous details have to be carefully foreseen and provided for. In Ulster a succession of both outdoor and indoor demonstrations, seldom if ever equalled in this country in magnitude and complexity of arrangement, besides an amazing quantity of other miscellaneous work inseparable from the conduct of a political movement in which crisis followed crisis with bewildering rapidity, were managed year after year from Mr. Bates's office in the Old Town Hall with ...
— Ulster's Stand For Union • Ronald McNeill

... understanding and voluntarily stop short of the—the embrace, in the noblest meaning of the word, then they are committing a sin against life, the call of which is simple. Perhaps sacred. And the punishment of it is an invasion of complexity, a tormenting, forcibly tortuous involution of feelings, the deepest form of suffering from which indeed something significant may come at last, which may be criminal or heroic, may be madness or wisdom—or even a straight ...
— Chance • Joseph Conrad

... profit by the opportunity. The answer was prompt and definite, and within forty-eight hours of Mr. Balfour's despatch it reached the Foreign Office. The gist of it was that the Minister of Foreign Affairs regretted his inability to deal with the problem at that conjuncture, owing to its great complexity and various bearings, and also because of his apprehension that the Poles would demand the incorporation of Russian lands in their reconstituted state. From this answer many conclusions might fairly be drawn respecting persons, ...
— The Inside Story Of The Peace Conference • Emile Joseph Dillon

... a life-history, like every other vital organization. It is gradually built up, increasing in complexity and strength and may continue to grow indefinitely, or may enter upon a period of decline, and may decay slowly or ...
— Introduction to the Science of Sociology • Robert E. Park

... contained in the Vedas, the oldest sacred books of the Hindus, its almost entire freedom from the use of images, its gradual deterioration in the later hymns, its gradual multiplication of gods, the advance of sacerdotalism, and the increasing complexity of its religious rites ...
— Two Old Faiths - Essays on the Religions of the Hindus and the Mohammedans • J. Murray Mitchell and William Muir

... heresies which result from wrong-headed mental elaboration, as distinguished from those which are the result of hasty and imperfect apprehension, the heresies of the clever rather than the heresies of the obtuse. The former are of endless variety and complexity; the latter are in comparison natural, simple confusions. The former are the errors of the study, the latter the superstitions that spring by the wayside, or are brought down to us in our social structure ...
— God The Invisible King • Herbert George Wells

... political leaders, and the masses of the people "The killing of the language," writes Dr. Douglas Hyde, "took place under the eye of O'Connell and the Parliamentarians, and, of course, under the eye and with the sanction of the Catholic priesthood and prelates ... From a complexity of causes which I am afraid to explain, the men who for the last sixty years have had the ear of the Irish race have persistently shown the cold shoulder to everything that was Irish and racial."[*] Their attitude is easily understood. Irish had long ceased to be used for literary purposes. ...
— Ireland and Poland - A Comparison • Thomas William Rolleston

... force on the defensive. We were afraid of one another. Sauntering about, some of the enemy were willing to enter into conversation. A number of things they told filled us with surprise, and made us begin to understand the complexity of the situation around us. The Shansi levies and Tung Fu-hsiang's men—that is, all the soldiery from the provinces—had but little idea of why they were attacking us; they had been sent, they said, to prevent us from breaking into the Palace and ...
— Indiscreet Letters From Peking • B. L. Putman Weale

... there sets in a period of intense and intolerable complexity. With the soda-jerker this period is so short as to be almost negligible. Men higher in the scale hold out longer in the attempt to preserve the ultimate niceties of relationship, to retain "impractical" ideas of integrity. But ...
— The Beautiful and Damned • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... kinds are made for animals both large and small, especially by the. Sea Dayaks, who use traps more frequently than the other peoples. Our few descriptions will serve to illustrate the ingenuity displayed, the complexity of the mechanical principles involved in some of them, and the extreme simplicity of others. Previous writers have described many of these in detail, and we content ourselves with referring the curious reader ...
— The Pagan Tribes of Borneo • Charles Hose and William McDougall

... Shaw made for strength but also created limitations, "Shaw is like the Venus of Milo; all that there is of him is admirable." Where he fails is in being unable to see and embrace the full complexity of life. "His only paradox is to pull out one thread or cord of truth longer and longer into waste and fantastic places. He does not allow for that deeper sort of paradox by which two opposite cords of truth become entangled in an ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... contemplate social phenomena as susceptible of prevision, like all other classes, within the limits of exactness compatible with their higher complexity. Comprehending the three characteristics of political science which we have been examining, prevision of social phenomena supposes, first, that we have abandoned the region of metaphysical idealities, to assume the ground of observed realities by a systematic subordination of imagination to observation; ...
— Introduction to the Science of Sociology • Robert E. Park

... show toward life is the design that the individual shall sustain its own life, and at death leave others of its kind—that it shall get food, avoid destruction, and reproduce. In pursuance of this policy it naturally turns out that those types showing greater morphological and functional complexity, along with freer movement and more mental ingenuity, come into the more perfect control and use of their environment, and consequently have greater likelihood of survival. Failing of this greater complexity, their chance of life lies in occupying so obscure a position, so to speak, ...
— Sex and Society • William I. Thomas

... glory and power, and you will find that so long as they kept in close contact with the soil they flourished. With the advance of civilization the peoples change their mode of life from simplicity to luxuriousness and complexity. Thus individuals decay and in the end there is enough individual decay to result in national degeneration. When this process has advanced far enough these people are unable to hold their own. In the severe competitition of nations the strain ...
— Maintaining Health • R. L. Alsaker

... arguments on such subjects are to be found in books, magazines, and official reports. The good you will get from arguments on such subjects lies largely in finding out how to look up material. The difficulty with them lies in their size and their complexity. When it is remembered that a column of an ordinary newspaper has somewhere about fifteen hundred words, and that an editorial article such as on page 268, which is thirty-eight hundred words long, is in these days of hurry apt to be repellent, because of its ...
— The Making of Arguments • J. H. Gardiner

... it hadn't been for the play this astounding young person before her would have gone gallivanting off with one man to whom she was not married to the bedside, thousands of miles away, of another man to whom she was also not married. Such simplicity of mental processes surpassed any complexity Jean ...
— Wild Wings - A Romance of Youth • Margaret Rebecca Piper

... constrained, on such an occasion as this to ask what were the qualities which enabled a man called comparatively late in life to new duties of unexampled complexity—what were the qualities which in practice proved him so admirably fitted to the task, and have given him an enduring and illustrious record among the rulers and governors of the nations? I should be disposed to assign the first place to what sounds a commonplace—but ...
— The Ontario High School Reader • A.E. Marty

... answer is possible. Here, if anywhere, one feels the complexity of the moral life, and the mysteriousness of the way in which ...
— The Varieties of Religious Experience • William James

... The complexity of life.—It is not easy to think life, much less define it. The elements are so numerous as to baffle and bewilder the mind. It looks out at one from so many corners that it seems Argus-eyed. At one moment we ...
— The Vitalized School • Francis B. Pearson

... complexity caused by a lease of the same property being apparently granted to George Gibbes, and a double fine levied[99]—i.e., parties brought in who were strangers to the title; and a double fine appears ...
— Shakespeare's Family • Mrs. C. C. Stopes

... no longer the reasonable and competent Gabriella, who had so successfully "managed her life"; she was primitive woman in the grip of primitive anger; and balance, moderation, restraint, had flown from her soul. The very mystery of her feeling, its complexity, its suddenness, its remorselessness—these emotions worked together to deepen the sense of insult, of ...
— Life and Gabriella - The Story of a Woman's Courage • Ellen Glasgow

... duties amongst the Civil Members. The continuance of the war has caused a steady increase in the number of cases in which necessary developments of Admiralty policy due to the war, or experience resulting from war conditions give rise to administrative problems of great importance and complexity, of which a solution will have to be forthcoming either immediately upon or very soon after the conclusion of the war. The difficulty of concentrating attention on these problems of the future in the midst of current administrative work ...
— The Crisis of the Naval War • John Rushworth Jellicoe

... associate money questions with that which is unhappy, unfortunate, down-at-the-heel, with fear and misery? Barring mere accidents, it is because we are careless, shiftless; because we do not face the problem manfully, practice reasonable self-restraint, consider the subject in its complexity and decide upon, and carry out, a constructive programme. Even if one happens to possess wealth, he is not exempt. Indeed, large wealth involves still greater necessity for care in the conduct of one's pecuniary affairs. The rich man is said to have perplexities ...
— Creating Capital - Money-making as an aim in business • Frederick L. Lipman



Words linked to "Complexity" :   complication, quality, simple, involution, simplicity, tapestry, complex, trickiness, intricacy, elaboration, complicatedness, elaborateness, complexify, knottiness, tortuousness



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