Simple Definition of imbroglio
: a complex dispute or argument
Full Definition of imbroglio
Examples of imbroglio in a sentence
<a celebrated imbroglio involving some big names in the New York literary scene>
Did You Know?
Imbroglio and "embroilment" are more than just synonyms; they're also linked through etymology. Both descend from the Middle French verb embrouiller (same meaning as "embroil"), from the prefix em-, meaning "thoroughly," plus brouiller, meaning "to mix" or "to confuse." ("Brouiller" is itself a descendant of an Old French word for broth.) Early in the 17th century, English speakers began using "embroil," a direct adaptation of "embrouiller." Our noun "embroilment," which also entered the language in the early 17th century, comes from the same source. Meanwhile, the Italians were using their own alteration of "embrouiller" : imbrogliare, meaning "to entangle." In the mid-18th century, English speakers embraced the Italian noun imbroglio as well.
Origin of imbroglio
Italian, from imbrogliare to entangle, from Middle French embrouiller — more at embroil
First Known Use: 1750
Learn More about imbroglio
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for "imbroglio"
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up imbroglio? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).