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

Although Robinson will have had a year off from competitive basketball and enters the draft with no experience beyond high school, his long build, impressive athletic ability and shot-blocking prowess come with built-in NBA intrigue. Jeremy Woo, SI.com, "2018 NBA Draft: Final Top 100 Prospect Rankings," 18 June 2018 Chaucer’s medieval classic unfolds as a storytelling battle among pilgrims traveling to the shrine of an English archbishop martyred in a church-and-state intrigue. Gaiutra Bahadur, New York Times, "She Didn’t Know How to Read, but Her Stories Captured History," 10 May 2018 The same can be said of Mr Cohen’s role in the intrigue that appears to have led the FBI to his Manhattan hotel room, residence and law office. The Economist, "The Mueller probe is as much about the rule of law as Russian meddling," 14 Apr. 2018 The coaching matchup ultimately offered more intrigue than the nonleague game, which ended in a 56-7 CdM romp at Newport Harbor High. Matt Szabo, Daily Pilot, "Corona del Mar football routs Scott Meyer-led Lakewood," 13 Sep. 2019 And there’s plenty of optimism and intrigue surrounding the season. K.c. Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Bulls Q&A: Will they make the playoffs this season? How will the point guard rotation play out?," 12 Sep. 2019 On Reddit, an active nootropics community shares tips and research, and its members have watched the mainstreaming of their interest with ambivalence and intrigue. Richard Cooke, The New Republic, "The conservative commentariat’s love affair with nootropics," 3 Sep. 2019 The American League race will provide more intrigue than the National League one, as the Nationals and Cubs will end up distancing themselves from the Phillies, Diamondbacks, Brewers and Mets down the stretch. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, "Newman: Predicting wild cards, pennants and World Series winner, plus 2019 individual awards," 3 Sep. 2019 And if that doesn't intrigue you, Hallmark Movies Now is the only way (as of right now) to watch the Signed, Sealed, and Delivered series in its entirety. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Hallmark Movies Now Lets You Watch Your Favorite Movies and Shows Without Cable," 2 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Schools such as Harvard and Princeton reached out, too, intrigued by Fall’s skills and academic potential. Adam Himmelsbach, BostonGlobe.com, "7-foot-6-inch Celtic Tacko Fall’s unlikely journey to the brink of the NBA," 17 Aug. 2019 The voters at the watch party hosted by Black Voters Matter— a voter mobilization and advocacy organization— seemed intrigued by less mainstream Democrats, like businessman Andrew Yang and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Charlotte Alter/flint, Time, "‘Everybody Uses Us.’ What It Was Like to Watch the Democratic Debate in Flint, Michigan," 1 Aug. 2019 As a student, Lynden-Bell became intrigued by the idea, and his adviser gave him a 1953 paper by physicist Dennis Sciama, who articulated the most complete version of Mach’s idea. Sarah Scoles, Scientific American, "The Good Kind of Crazy: The Quest for Exotic Propulsion," 29 July 2019 What intrigued you about the criminal justice major? Justin Spears, azcentral, "Higley four-star DE Jason Harris visits Arizona Wildcats," 1 July 2019 But each of the segments is intriguing in its own way. Mark Dawidziak, cleveland.com, "Ken Burns PBS series ‘Country Music’ is a love song," 14 Sep. 2019 The game is also intriguing from the personnel side of things. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, "Troy vs. Southern Miss 2019 live stream; time, odds, watch online," 14 Sep. 2019 Bergmann is well thought of, Yurtaykin has professional experience in the KHL and is intriguing considering his skill set. Curtis Pashelka, The Mercury News, "Sharks training camp: A peek ahead to the biggest competitions," 11 Sep. 2019 But this only intrigued her captors and had the opposite effect. New York Times, "Jan Ruff-O’Herne, Who Told of Wartime Rape by the Japanese, Dies at 96," 10 Sep. 2019

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

18 Oct 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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