noun plural but singular or plural in construction sham·bles \ˈsham-bəlz\

: a place or state in which there is great confusion, disorder, or destruction

Full Definition of SHAMBLES

archaic :  a meat market
a :  a place of mass slaughter or bloodshed <the battlefield became a shambles>
b :  a scene or a state of great destruction :  wreckage <the city was a shambles after the bombing>
c (1) :  a scene or a state of great disorder or confusion <an economy in shambles>
(2) :  great confusion :  mess

Origin of SHAMBLES

Middle English shameles, plural of schamel vendor's table, footstool, from Old English sceamol stool, from Latin scamillum, diminutive of scamnum stool, bench; perhaps akin to Sanskrit skambha pillar
First Known Use: 15th century
SHAMBLES Defined for Kids


noun plural sham·bles \ˈsham-bəlz\

Definition of SHAMBLES for Kids

:  a place or scene of disorder or destruction <After the party, the house was a shambles.> Hint:Shambles can be used as a singular or a plural in writing and speaking.


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