em·​broil | \im-ˈbrȯi(-ə)l \
embroiled; embroiling; embroils

Definition of embroil 

transitive verb

1 : to throw into disorder or confusion

2 : to involve in conflict or difficulties embroiled in controversy

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Other Words from embroil

embroilment \im-​ˈbrȯi(-​ə)l-​mənt \ noun

Synonyms for embroil


bog (down), broil, embrangle, mire

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Examples of embroil in a Sentence

His stand on this issue has embroiled him in controversy. The new drug has been embroiled in controversy. They were embroiled in a complicated lawsuit.
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Recent Examples on the Web

China and Turkey are resisting the ban, as they are embroiled in other trade and political disputes with Washington. Benoit Faucon, WSJ, "OPEC’s Wildcards Could Push Oil to $100," 5 Oct. 2018 Adding to investor concerns, Turkey was embroiled in a diplomatic standoff with the U.S. over Ankara’s refusal at the time to release an American pastor. Yeliz Candemir, WSJ, "Turkey Bond Issue Signals Brighter Outlook for Stricken Economy," 8 Nov. 2018 USA Gymnastics is embroiled in controversy once again, this time over their new pick for interim CEO and president, Mary Bono. Jessica Taylor Price, Teen Vogue, "Simone Biles Calls Out USA Gymnastics CEO Mary Bono Over Anti-Nike Tweet," 15 Oct. 2018 Ocasio-Cortez, who rose to prominence after defeating top Democrat Joe Crowley in the party’s U.S. House primary in June, got embroiled in a controversy back in July over her views on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Lukas Mikelionis, Fox News, "Ocasio-Cortez appeared on podcast hosted by activist who said 'Jews should get the f--- out of Palestine'," 22 Sep. 2018 Silicon Valley, however, was embroiled in a much pettier conflict: an angry message board scandal. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Happy birthday, Google: this week in tech, 20 years ago," 8 Sep. 2018 New York City is embroiled in a debate about whether to change its entrance standard — currently a single test — for its most prestigious high schools to allow for more black and Latino students. New York Times, "Trump Officials Reverse Obama’s Policy on Affirmative Action in Schools," 3 July 2018 New York City is embroiled in a debate about whether to change entrance criteria — currently a single test — into its most elite and prestigious high schools to allow for small increases in black and Latino students. BostonGlobe.com, "Trump to scrap Obama-era affirmative action guidelines," 3 July 2018 America has become embroiled in trade spats with fast-growing upstarts before; with Japan in the 1980s, for example. The Economist, "Sino-American interdependence has been a force for geopolitical stability," 23 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'embroil.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of embroil

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for embroil

French embrouiller, from Middle French, from en- + brouiller to jumble, from Old French brooilier, from Vulgar Latin *brodiculare — more at broil

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Statistics for embroil

Last Updated

29 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for embroil

The first known use of embroil was in 1603

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English Language Learners Definition of embroil

: to involve (someone or something) in conflict or difficulties

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More from Merriam-Webster on embroil

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with embroil

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for embroil

Spanish Central: Translation of embroil

Nglish: Translation of embroil for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of embroil for Arabic Speakers

Comments on embroil

What made you want to look up embroil? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to enclose within walls

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