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

The intrigue at wide receiver, meanwhile, continued to swirl. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "Ravens win 17th straight preseason game, 20-7 over Washington, as battles for roster spots continue," 30 Aug. 2019 Given what unfolded last year in Santa Clara, the matchup Friday has the most intrigue. Mike Lefkow, The Mercury News, "Bay Area high school football: Games to watch this weekend," 30 Aug. 2019 Former Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski was charged with stealing driverless technology from Alphabet’s Waymo unit, resurrecting the intrigue of the biggest legal battle to grip Silicon Valley in recent memory. Joel Rosenblatt, Fortune, "Ex-Uber Engineer Levandowski Charged by U.S. in Waymo Case," 27 Aug. 2019 The intrigue of football eludes him so Jack won’t be visiting U.S. Bank Stadium. Caryn M. Sullivan, Twin Cities, "Caryn Sullivan: Meeting sensory challenges head-on," 25 Aug. 2019 In fiction, the twilit intrigues of Her Majesty’s secret services have tracked the course of imperial decline, the intelligence triumphs of the second world war and the ambiguous stalemate of the cold war. The Economist, "Mick Herron’s novels are a satirical chronicle of modern Britain," 15 Aug. 2019 So far, 15-year-old sensation Coco Gauff has cranked up the intrigue here like a teenager bumping up the volume. Sam Farmer, latimes.com, "Wimbledon: Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal easily win," 6 July 2019 Winning is not guaranteed—partnerships as pedigreed as this have been known to falter—but intrigue certainly is. Robert O'connell, The Atlantic, "Anthony Davis and LeBron James Are Uniquely Suited to Win," 17 June 2019 Now that the Raptors are the NBA champions, the real intrigue can begin: The NBA offseason. Matt Young, Houston Chronicle, "A look at the best available NBA free agents this offseason," 13 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

More from Cincy: a possible second round matchup between Sloane Stephens and Svetlana Kuznetsova is intriguing, considering that the Russian vet beat Stephens in an hour. The Si Staff, SI.com, "2019 U.S Open Preview Roundtable: SI Experts Make Predictions," 23 Aug. 2019 The idea of updating and improving on a classic such as mint chocolate chip, for example, is intriguing. Jolene Thym, The Mercury News, "Taste-Off: The best high-end mint-chocolate chip ice creams — and five utter fails," 22 July 2019 Sanders will be pitted against Warren The matchup of Sanders and Warren on night one is also intriguing. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "CNN announces the nightly matchups for the second Democratic debate," 19 July 2019 Basa-Ama Size: 6-9, 200 247Sports Composite national rank: None High school: St. Andrew's (Florida) AAU team: Team Parsons (Adidas) Basa-Ama is still learning the game after coming to the U.S. from Ghana four years ago, but his talent is intriguing. Ben Steele, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Marquette basketball recruiting: 2020 Big Board," 13 July 2019 Both sparring matches were intriguing get-me-some-popcorn showdowns between forces—business and government—that have pretty much been in lockstep as the city wrenches through its growing pains of change. Roy S. Johnson | Rjohnson@al.com, al.com, "Johnson: Moratorium, surcharge unveil intriguing battle over control of city’s growth," 4 July 2019 The chance to work with Stevens and the rest of Boston’s staff was intriguing, but there were other selling points for Lawson, too. Adam Himmelsbach, BostonGlobe.com, "Kara Lawson wants to be known for more than being the Celtics’ first female assistant coach," 3 July 2019 But the slowdown in net office absorption is intriguing. Detroit Free Press, "Detroit's downtown building boom slowing as costs, rents soar," 27 June 2019 Related Articles Either way, Rosas’ approach is intriguing. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "Jace Frederick: On draft night, Gersson Rosas flashes his aggression," 21 June 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

6 Sep 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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