imbroglio

play
noun im·bro·glio \ im-ˈbrōl-(ˌ)yō \

Definition of imbroglio

plural imbroglios
1 :a confused mass
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

imbroglio was our Word of the Day on 11/29/2009. Hear the podcast!

Examples of imbroglio in a Sentence

  1. a celebrated imbroglio involving some big names in the New York literary scene

Recent Examples of imbroglio from the Web

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

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 and Etymology of imbroglio

Italian, from imbrogliare to entangle, from Middle French embrouiller — more at embroil


IMBROGLIO Defined for English Language Learners

imbroglio

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noun

Definition of imbroglio for English Language Learners

  • : a complex dispute or argument


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to curse or denounce

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