intrigue

noun
in·trigue | \ˈin-ˌtrēg, 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 \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The World Cup quarterfinals are set, eight teams remain and the intrigue is thick. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "Casting a wary eye toward World Cup host Russia," 6 July 2018 Privacy - Terms The biggest intrigue will be in KU's frontcourt — and specifically, seeing how Azubuike and Memphis transfer Dedric Lawson complement each other. Jesse Newell, kansascity, "Udoka Azubuike withdraws from NBA draft. Here's what his return means for KU," 30 May 2018 Your information will be used as described in our Privacy Policy NEW YORK — For at least the next 10 days, there will be far less intrigue when Max Stassi arrives to the ballpark. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Max Stassi improvement has been a pleasant surprise for Astros," 29 May 2018 Plus there is tabloid intrigue for this one, as the song—yes—may or may not be about her relationship with Justin Bieber. Josh Duboff, Vanities, "Breaking Down 2018’s Song-of-the-Summer Contenders," 24 May 2018 All well and good, but the real intrigue here is: How in the name of great Shakespeare’s ghost did a modest community theater in Coronado land the San Diego premiere of this hot dramatic property? James Hebert, sandiegouniontribune.com, "'King Charles III' a royal coup for Coronado Playhouse," 13 Mar. 2018 That twist turned a sometimes staid event into the world's richest pickup game, and the intrigue was reflected on the Staples Center court, where a real basketball game broke out. CBS News, "NBA All-Star Game 2018: Team LeBron defeats Team Stephen," 18 Feb. 2018 That twist turned a sometimes staid event into the world’s richest pickup game, and the intrigue was reflected on the Staples Center court, where a real basketball game broke out. Greg Beacham, The Seattle Times, "Team LeBron edges Team Stephen 148-145 in All-Star Game," 18 Feb. 2018 There's also some intrigue around ex-Louisville wing Deng Adel as a potential late second-round stash. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "2018 NBA draft: When might Louisville basketball players be selected?," 20 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Tom finds the idea of having a roof over her head intriguing. Colin Covert, kansascity, "‘Leave No Trace’ is a quietly moving story of family love," 12 July 2018 The 46-year-old Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals is said to be a mother, a woman of faith and a conservative which intrigues Trump. Niki Mcgloster, Essence.com, "Black Woman Arrested After Climbing The Statue of Liberty In Protest," 5 July 2018 The park’s atmosphere is interrupted twice an hour by loud, strange noises that have intrigued, perplexed and rankled visitors. Maya Sweedler, WSJ, "Heavy Breathing in Manhattan Park Is Not What Anyone Thinks It Is," 2 July 2018 Another aspect of their game that intrigues Bokamper: The pedigree of their college careers. Jordan Mcpherson, miamiherald, "Here's why one former Dolphins Pro Bowler thinks highly of Miami's latest draft class | Miami Herald," 18 May 2018 Sol has 12 months left to run on his Willem II contract and may be available at a knockdown price as a result - something that would surely intrigue Palace boss Roy Hodgson. SI.com, "Palace & Watford Linked With Eredivisie Hotshot After Striker Spotted at Vicarage Road Clash," 27 Apr. 2018 Punk rock, Andy Warhol's Factory, CBGB, Blondie, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, the Ramones – all part of an East Village stew of new sound and iconography that intrigued the partners. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "First look: The Cottonmouth Club," 11 Apr. 2018 A&M Press was intrigued and brought in David Woodcock, who is a professor emeritus at A&M and is well know for his appreciation of the history of the campus. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, "Glossy picture book celebrates Texas A&M architecture," 22 Feb. 2018 Hurston was relieved and excited to have the financial support, but she was also intrigued by Mason herself. Emily Bernard, The New Republic, "Zora Neale Hurston’s drive to tell the story of the slave trade’s last survivor," 19 June 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.

See More

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

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

Verb

see intrigue entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about intrigue

Statistics for intrigue

Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for intrigue

The first known use of intrigue was in 1609

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

: to make secret plans

intrigue

verb
in·trigue | \in-ˈtrēg \
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, in-ˈtrēg\

Kids Definition of intrigue (Entry 2 of 2)

: a secret and complex plot

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on intrigue

What made you want to look up intrigue? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!