convoluted – adjective

  • extremely complicated and difficult to understand: a convoluted argument/story , The argument is rather convoluted.
  • very twisted; a very convoluted route/knot
  • having many twists and bends; a tightly-coiled convoluted tube
  • Convoluted sentences, explanations, arguments, etc. are unreasonably long and difficult to understand : His grammar explanations are terribly convoluted. Her book is full of long, convoluted sentences.The film is let down by a convoluted plot in which nothing really happens. an extraordinarily convoluted narrative; convoluted reasoning 

Synonyms :

baroque, complicated, complex, involved, intricate, elaborate, impenetrable, serpentine, labyrinthine, tortuous, tangled, byzantine,  Daedalian (daedal), Gordian; confused, confusing, bewildering, baffling, puzzling, perplexing, involute, knotty, sophisticated

Informal :

fiddly, plotty

Antonyms :

simple, straightforward, noncomplex, noncomplicated, plain, uncomplicated

Used when talking about  – Complexity

  • compound (something consisting of two or more different parts)
  • intractable
  • multifarious
  • onerous

Idioms :

  • be more to sth than meets the eye – If there is more to something than meets the eye, it is more difficult to understand or involves more things than you thought at the beginning.
  • thereby hangs a tale – said to someone when what they have asked about involves a long explanation; Why are you limping? Ah, thereby hangs a tale.

Source of information – Cambridge Dictionaries Online , Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English , Oxford Dictionaries and Merriam-Webster Dictionary