em·​broil | \ im-ˈbrȯi(-ə)l How to pronounce embroil (audio) \
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

Other Words from embroil

embroilment \ im-​ˈbrȯi(-​ə)l-​mənt How to pronounce embroil (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for embroil


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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.
Recent Examples on the Web Two Bay Area lawmakers are leaders in the movement to not embroil the U.S. military in needless conflict. Tal Kopan, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 Mar. 2022 Several art world professionals were similarly gun-shy, citing the experience of the estate’s authentication committee and their fear that publicly weighing in could embroil them in a lawsuit with the paintings’ current owners. New York Times, 16 Feb. 2022 Last week, Joe Biden tactlessly admitted that a minor incursion might embroil the U.S. in a fight with its allies about whether to do anything at all. WSJ, 25 Jan. 2022 But Turley and Goldsmith both pointed out that prosecuting Bannon could embroil the department in partisan politics. David Rohde, The New Yorker, 27 Oct. 2021 That same conversation will embroil coaches and programs in the playoff hunt, bringing unwanted distractions and attention as coaches preach the importance of remaining focused on the task at hand. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, 15 Sep. 2021 Bin Laden later put a post-facto gloss on the strategic failure of 9/11 by dressing it up as a great success and claiming the attacks were a fiendishly clever plot to embroil the US in costly wars in the Middle East. Peter Bergen, CNN, 11 Sep. 2021 Shelter offers, backed by enforcement, could embroil L.A. in another confrontation that would dwarf the disturbances over the city’s recent police action to remove a sprawling tent city from Echo Park Lake, several advocates said. Gale Holland Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 22 Apr. 2021 This round of fighting threatens to embroil Russia, which maintains good ties with both Armenia and Azerbaijan but is treaty-bound to protect Armenia, and NATO-member Turkey, which is backing Azerbaijan. Washington Post, 26 Oct. 2020 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for embroil

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The first known use of embroil was in 1603

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Dictionary Entries Near embroil

embroidery hoop



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Cite this Entry

“Embroil.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embroil. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on embroil

Nglish: Translation of embroil for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of embroil for Arabic Speakers


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