intrigue

noun
in·​trigue | \ ˈin-ˌtrēg How to pronounce intrigue (audio) , in-ˈtrēg \

Definition of intrigue

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the practice of engaging in secret schemes
b : a secret scheme : machination
2 : a clandestine love affair

intrigue

verb
in·​trigue | \ in-ˈtrēg How to pronounce intrigue (audio) \
intrigued; intriguing

Definition of intrigue (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to arouse the interest, desire, or curiosity of intrigued by the tale
2 : cheat, trick
3 : to get, make, or accomplish by secret scheming intrigued myself into the club
4 obsolete : entangle

intransitive verb

: to carry on an intrigue (see intrigue entry 1) especially : plot, scheme

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Other Words from intrigue

Verb

intriguer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for intrigue

Noun

plot, intrigue, machination, conspiracy, cabal mean a plan secretly devised to accomplish an evil or treacherous end. plot implies careful foresight in planning a complex scheme. an assassination plot intrigue suggests secret underhanded maneuvering in an atmosphere of duplicity. backstairs intrigue machination implies a contriving of annoyances, injuries, or evils by indirect means. the machinations of a party boss conspiracy implies a secret agreement among several people usually involving treason or great treachery. a conspiracy to fix prices cabal typically applies to political intrigue involving persons of some eminence. a cabal among powerful senators

Examples of intrigue in a Sentence

Noun Rolston's work channels the vampish intrigue of vintage Hollywood with a sense of irony and wit that makes the work truly modern. — Stephanie Sung, Picture, September/October 2008 In this, as in any other enterprise where there is the promise of money, intrigues and lies and hoodwinking and bullying abound. — Alice Munro, "Hard-Luck Stories," in In the Stacks2002 The story began to take on a warm, attractive glow as a Highland romantic epic of heroism and villainy, of intrigue and bravery, complete with comely maidens such as Flora MacDonald and handsome heroes such as Bonnie Prince Charlie himself. — Arthur Herman, How the Scots Invented the Modern World, 2001 a novel of intrigue and romance an administration characterized by intrigue and corruption Verb One day during math study period, after I'd finished my regular assignment, I took out a fresh sheet of paper and tried to solve a problem that had intrigued me: whether the first player in a game of ticktacktoe can always win, given the right strategy. — Martin Gardner, Scientific American, August 1998 Bundy was also a man whose thinking in foreign affairs was extremely conventional … but who in the area of domestic policy was curiously more open-minded and unconventional, so that throughout the Kennedy years, friends would be intrigued by the difference in Bundy. — David Halberstam, Harper's, July 1969 evidence that the leading manufacturers had intrigued to keep prices artificially high the mystery story intrigued me so that I read it in one sitting
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun First came reports Tuesday that the omission of the anthem at 12 preseason and regular-season games at American Airlines Center had been no accident, which Cuban initially confirmed without further comment, thus ratcheting up the intrigue. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, "Mark Cuban’s anthem experiment gives ‘courageous conversations’ a chance to continue for all of us," 10 Feb. 2021 The fact that McCollum and Harden put on a show Saturday night only added to the intrigue. oregonlive, "Bond between Portland Trail Blazers’ CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard would make any potential trade - even for James Harden - painful," 27 Dec. 2020 Adding to the intrigue, there is no clear favorite as the No. 1 pick. Scott Cacciola, New York Times, "1,000 Interviews to Pick No. 1: Inside the Timberwolves’ N.B.A. Draft Prep," 18 Nov. 2020 The Houston draft picks that the Dolphins own provides some intrigue the next two Sundays. Dave Hyde, sun-sentinel.com, "Hyde: Ten thoughts on Miami Dolphins’ crazy 26-25 win over Raiders," 26 Dec. 2020 Wang believed the smaller storm, albeit one that is 3,900 miles across, was the result of the larger storm being disrupted, but that isn't the case, adding intrigue to what's causing it. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "Neptune's mysterious dark spot has reversed course and experts are baffled," 25 Dec. 2020 Further adding intrigue was a letter from the Medical Society of Mobile County submitted to the Unified Command and Mike Evans, deputy director with the Mobile County Emergency Agency, pushing city leaders not to issue Mardi Gras parade permits. al, "Mardi Gras in August? Next health order could determine fate of Carnival," 2 Dec. 2020 And Holiday’s departure, plus the other assets acquired, only adds intrigue to the opportunities New Orleans can pursue if certain picks fall a certain way. Scott Kushner, NOLA.com, "Kushner: Jrue Holiday trade reaffirms Pelicans' belief in the long view," 17 Nov. 2020 While the Vikings were improving to 3-5 and catching the Lions in the NFC North, the Chicago Bears were looking inept against Tennessee, adding intrigue to the Vikings’ trip to Chicago next week. Jim Souhan, Star Tribune, "Vikings quick reaction: Cook, D, dominate Lions," 8 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Instead, solving genuine mysteries and acquiring expertise in domains that intrigue the learner would sit at the core of the curriculum. Susan Engel, Time, "Many Kids Ask Fewer Questions When They Start School. Here's How Teachers Can Foster Their Curiosity," 23 Feb. 2021 But the combination of size and 3-point stroke could intrigue enough to offset selecting a 22-year-old. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "Heat potentially looking to go deep in NBA draft | Rating the field at power forward," 15 Nov. 2020 There have been a couple of new ones in the past few days that might intrigue Jazz fans. Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Weekly Run newsletter: Here’s what some Draft prospects had to say about the Utah Jazz," 11 Nov. 2020 Unsolved mysteries — like identity of the Zodiac Killer — intrigue him. David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, "He coped with autism by running. Now he could push Columbus North to a state title.," 29 Oct. 2020 Does the new Zoom meetings, online grocery ordering and Amazon shopping applications intrigue you? courant.com, "Community News For The Windsor Locks Edition," 21 Aug. 2020 Does the new Zoom meetings, online grocery ordering and Amazon shopping applications intrigue you? courant.com, "Community News For The Windsor Locks Edition," 21 Aug. 2020 Nvidia’s deal to buy chip designer Arm for $40 billion continues to intrigue. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Why Snowflake could become a tech giant," 15 Sep. 2020 And in the end, the Toronto Raptors staved off elimination against the Boston Celtics in a double-overtime thriller, the L.A. Clippers took a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Denver Nuggets and the NBA playoffs continued to intrigue. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, "Trail Blazers’ future, Raptors force Game 7, NBA Draft change, Doris Burke to make history: Playoffs news and notes," 10 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intrigue.' 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 intrigue

Noun

1609, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Verb

1612, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

History and Etymology for intrigue

Noun and Verb

French intricate affair, from Italian intrigo, from intrigare to entangle, from Latin intricare — see intricate

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Time Traveler for intrigue

Time Traveler

The first known use of intrigue was in 1609

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Statistics for intrigue

Last Updated

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Intrigue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intrigue. Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for intrigue

intrigue

noun

English Language Learners Definition of intrigue

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the activity of making secret plans
: a secret plan

intrigue

verb

English Language Learners Definition of intrigue (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (someone) want to know more about something : to cause (someone) to become interested
formal : to make secret plans

intrigue

verb
in·​trigue | \ in-ˈtrēg How to pronounce intrigue (audio) \
intrigued; intriguing

Kids Definition of intrigue

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to arouse the interest or curiosity of The mystery intrigues me.
2 : plot entry 2 sense 1, scheme His enemies intrigued against him.

intrigue

noun
in·​trigue | \ ˈin-ˌtrēg How to pronounce intrigue (audio) , in-ˈtrēg \

Kids Definition of intrigue (Entry 2 of 2)

: a secret and complex plot

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Comments on intrigue

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