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

That’s where the intrigue stops and the anxiety begins. Stefan Etienne, The Verge, "Walmart secured a patent to eavesdrop on shoppers and employees," 21 Dec. 2018 There's so much intrigue going into the season three premiere of Riverdale. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "11 TV Shows and Movies Airing This Week to Get You in the Halloween Spirit," 7 Oct. 2018 The Louisiana lawmaker was referencing a secret letter that has been the subject of intrigue on Capitol Hill over the last week. Andrew O'reilly, Fox News, "Kavanaugh confirmation process has been 'an intergalactic freak show,' Sen. Kennedy says," 16 Sep. 2018 When Awan was arrested just before boarding a plane for Pakistan, the intrigue only grew — even though he was charged not with conspiring, but with bank fraud. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Trump’s own Justice Department reprimands his conspiracy theorizing," 3 July 2018 The intrigue didn't stop, especially when the Warriors landed Cousins — basically with the money that Durant didn't take by structuring his deal as a two-year deal with an option year. Tim Reynolds, chicagotribune.com, "Warriors set to add DeMarcus Cousins to lineup," 2 July 2018 The quarterback intrigue at Alabama sucked all the air out of the state this spring, and that's probably just fine with Auburn. Joseph Goodman, AL.com, "Time is now for QB Jarrett Stidham to be leader Auburn needs," 3 May 2018 Still, there should be plenty of intrigue not only to see where the likes of Matt Simms, Zach Mettenberger or B.J. Daniels wind up, but how the draft system works. Barry Wilner, The Seattle Times, "Alliance “protect or pick” draft: All about the QBs," 27 Nov. 2018 Part of this summer's intrigue is obviously a byproduct of the Warriors. Andrew Sharp, SI.com, "The Summer of LeBron Offers More Intrigue Than the NBA Finals," 9 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

When The Wing recently offered a skin-care master class with Tata Harper herself, I was immediately intrigued. Hannah Dylan Pasternak, SELF, "6 Things I Learned From Natural Skin-Care Legend Tata Harper," 25 Sep. 2018 So we were predictably intrigued a couple years ago when Amtrak began allowing travelers to bring small dogs on select routes for a fee. Steve Eder, New York Times, "Pups Onboard: Why Trains Are a Great Way to Travel With Your Dog(s)," 19 June 2018 So just like you, I’ll be intrigued to see which way the Bulls go. K.c. Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Bulls Q&A: Can Bulls improve like the Pacers? Is Michael Porter Jr. the pick?," 2 May 2018 Scalp Detox had micellar water and salicylic acid in it, I was immediately intrigued. Marci Robin, Allure, "I Tried Bumble and Bumble's New Bb.Scalp Detox and It Feels Like Ice-Cold Pop Rocks," 20 Mar. 2018 Jones is a wildly athletic wildcard, certainly intriguing. Ira Winderman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "ASK IRA: Is Jimmy Butler a possibility for the Heat?," 4 July 2018 And to his surprise Miller has been intrigued by some of what's been unearthed by the sonic spelunking. Gary Graff, Billboard, "Steve Miller Reveals Plans for Joint Live Album With Tourmate Peter Frampton," 15 June 2018 Grinspoon is especially intrigued by Venusian clouds that sometimes display unexplained markings of dark, ultraviolet-absorbing particles. NBC News, "NASA has a plan to let humans soar above the clouds on Venus," 5 June 2018 Trigorin is intrigued by the gesture, however, and makes notes for a future story. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "The First Great Film Adaptation of Chekhov’s The Seagull," 24 Apr. 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

19 Apr 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

Comments on intrigue

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