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imbroglio

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noun im·bro·glio \im-ˈbrōl-(ˌ)yō\

Simple Definition of imbroglio

  • : a complex dispute or argument

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of imbroglio

plural imbroglios

  1. 1 :  a confused mass

  2. 2 a :  an intricate or complicated situation (as in a drama or novel) b :  an acutely painful or embarrassing misunderstanding c :  a violently confused or bitterly complicated altercation :  embroilment d :  scandal 3a <survived the political imbroglio>

Examples of imbroglio in a sentence

  1. <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


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