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

Ms Nahles, a veteran of party intrigue, tried to soldier on in the face of internecine plots. The Economist, "Andrea Nahles’s resignation leaves Germany’s government teetering," 8 June 2019 This year's Belmont Stakes features plenty of intrigue, with all eyes on War of Will, the favorite coming into the race. Brian Pascus, CBS News, "Everything you need to know about the 2019 Belmont Stakes," 8 June 2019 The look on his face as this happens is a mix of fear, intrigue, confusion, and disbelief. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "The Bachelor Season Premiere Recap: Did You Know Colton's a Virgin?," 7 Jan. 2019 Think of the show was a Spanish Downton Abbey, with lots of propriety, a potential murder mystery, and plenty of class intrigue, set against the backdrop of a beautiful luxury hotel. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Here Are the Most Exciting New Shows This Fall," 17 July 2018 There wasn't a whole lot of intrigue, or momentum shifts. Howard Fendrich, chicagotribune.com, "Illinois alumnus Kevin Anderson beats John Isner in longest semifinal in Wimbledon history," 13 July 2018 Lots of intrigue, backstabbing, favorites, and ladies-in-waiting. Win Mccormack, The New Republic, "Bhagwan’s Sexism," 12 Apr. 2018 What/If is another deliciously soapy drama from Revenge creator Mike Kelly that involves business and relationship intrigue. Keaton Bell, Vogue, "Renée Zellweger: "Celebrity Is a Different Job Than What I’m Interested In"," 24 May 2019 All of the other coaches also have their own cups, but Blake's specifically has been a major source of intrigue over the years. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Blake Shelton Revealed What's in His Cup on 'The Voice' and It's Definitely Not Water," 30 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

At first, even meteorologists were intrigued by what appeared to be a giant rain cloud on the National Weather Service’s (NWS) San Diego County radar Tuesday evening. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "A Ladybug Swarm in California Was Big Enough to Show Up on Weather Radar," 6 June 2019 Naoz, who is part of UCLA’s Galactic Center Group, is intrigued by the origin of the cold gas and its potential interactions with stars and other objects in the galactic center. Nola Taylor Redd, Scientific American, "Cool Gas Circles Milky Way’s Supermassive Black Hole," 5 June 2019 And those kind of stories lend themselves to documentary films because sometimes a little knowledge is dangerous, and people are intrigued by these complex stories and the myths around them. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "Ian Schrager Opens Up For the First Time About What Really Happened at Studio 54," 3 Oct. 2018 Bamba’s game-changing defensive potential, which features, at 7 feet-10-inches, the longest wingspan in NBA draft combine history, has intrigued the Bulls from the start. K.c. Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Bulls' buzz for Mo Bamba is growing," 20 June 2018 The merits of such spirited invention aren’t lost on Yosses, who’s already made all manner of intriguing tweaks to French and American classics. Marley Marius, Vogue, "Meet Bill Yosses, the Four Seasons Restaurant’s Brilliant Pastry Chef," 5 May 2019 But then, opponents have scored on 15 of those red-zone trips, with 11 touchdowns, and that’s part of what makes Saturday’s matchup an intriguing one. Adam Jude, The Seattle Times, "Blowout or ‘grind it out,’ UW wants win vs. Cal to stay atop Pac-12 North," 26 Oct. 2018 Catch up on old episodes, including an intriguing one about how the Madden NFL video game series became a culture-dominating phenomenon, before new episodes start on May 22 at 30for30podcasts.com. Staff, The Christian Science Monitor, "Top Picks: '30 for 30' podcast, the Brad Mehldau Trio's 'Seymour Reads the Constitution!,' and more top picks," 11 May 2018 The idea that evolution encourages women to engage in cyclical cuckoldry was certainly an intriguing one. The Economist, "The idea that women are cyclical cuckolders bites the dust," 10 May 2018

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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Statistics for intrigue

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for intrigue

The first known use of intrigue was in 1609

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on intrigue

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with intrigue

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for intrigue

Spanish Central: Translation of intrigue

Nglish: Translation of intrigue for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of intrigue for Arabic Speakers

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