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
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 The only intrigue in 2020 is for Ghanaians to decide, after four years of each man, the question is which one served Ghana best? Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo, Quartz Africa, "These are the key African elections to watch in 2020," 13 Jan. 2020 The intrigue was about the top seed, knowing Clemson was likely locked into No. Ralph D. Russo, Houston Chronicle, "Playoff showdowns: LSU vs. Oklahoma; Ohio State vs. Clemson," 8 Dec. 2019 The intrigue was about the top seed, knowing Clemson was likely locked into No. BostonGlobe.com, "LSU will play Oklahoma and Ohio State will face defending national champion Clemson in the College Football Playoff.," 8 Dec. 2019 The intrigue was about the top-seed, knowing Clemson was likely locked into No. Ralph D. Russo, The Denver Post, "College Football Playoff pairings: LSU vs. Oklahoma; Ohio State vs. Clemson," 8 Dec. 2019 The intrigue was about the top-seed, knowing Clemson was likely locked into No. Ralph D. Russo, chicagotribune.com, "College Football Playoff pairings: No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Oklahoma and No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson," 8 Dec. 2019 In many ways, the intrigue of Agent Running In the Field is secondary to its function as a renowned author’s scathing indictment of a country selling itself out. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "John le Carré’s Scathing Tale of Brexit Britain," 26 Oct. 2019 What’s missing is the intrigue, the gossip, the questioning glances across the dining table. Julie Washington, cleveland.com, "Royal visit adds pomp to ‘Downton Abbey’ the movie: Review," 17 Sep. 2019 The Washington Post questioned what would happen if public intrigue were to supersede the obvious joking tone of the post. Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, "What Is The Raid On Area 51 & Will A Million People Really Storm It To See Aliens?," 15 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And concerns about the aesthetics of a wall are intriguing given his propensity for other walls, not just at the U.S.-Mexico border but also a sea wall to protect his golf course in Ireland. Samantha Montano, TheWeek, "'Mops and buckets' won't do anything to save us from climate disaster," 22 Jan. 2020 His ability to get to the rim and knock down the open jumper could intrigue a playoff contender in need of bench scoring — especially if the asking price is just a future second-round pick. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Warriors have no plans for Ky Bowman as he nears 45-day limit," 18 Jan. 2020 All of this makes the paper an intriguing early effort worth some attention. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "“Living concrete” is an interesting first step," 18 Jan. 2020 These little overlaps of history are things that are really intriguing to me. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "Photographing Impeachment Proceedings Against Three Presidents," 17 Jan. 2020 Sure, in the same at-first-intriguing-then-utterly-horrific manner of Jack Nicholson’s Room 237 kiss in The Shining. Marc Ramirez, Dallas News, "In DFW, the improbable rise of Malort, the liqueur people love to loathe," 16 Jan. 2020 The mysterious, centuries-old stonework has long intrigued visitors, but a spike in tourism has raised concerns about damage to the delicate site. NBC News, "Peru to deport tourists for allegedly damaging, defecating at Machu Picchu," 15 Jan. 2020 And with the top seeds back in action following their wild-card byes, all four matchups Saturday and Sunday offer intriguing matchups. John Holler, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "NFL Playoff 3-Bet Parlay: Divisional Round," 10 Jan. 2020 That’s why Corey Dickerson is intriguing. Gonna give you virtually the same stats, with far less K’s and much better defense than Ozuna, for less money. Paul Uhls, Cincinnati.com, "Guest Morning Line: Let's figure out instant replay in sports or just stop using it," 3 Jan. 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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Learn More about intrigue

Time Traveler for intrigue

Time Traveler

The first known use of intrigue was in 1609

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Statistics for intrigue

Last Updated

25 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Intrigue.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intrigue. Accessed 27 January 2020.

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More Definitions for intrigue

intrigue

noun
How to pronounce intrigue (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of intrigue

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the activity of making secret plans
: a secret plan

intrigue

verb
How to pronounce intrigue (audio)

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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