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 But a preseason without any exhibition games and a new coaching staff have added some intrigue to this first game. Mike Preston, baltimoresun.com, "Browns have gone silent, but remain dangerous for Ravens | COMMENTARY," 12 Sep. 2020 Political intrigue deepened Saturday when the government said Manuel Merino, the head of congress, made calls to senior members of the armed forces on Thursday, hours before the impeachment motion was presented to parliament. John Quigley, Bloomberg.com, "Peru’s President Pushes Back on Impeachment Attempt by Congress," 12 Sep. 2020 Turkey is often engaged with Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the Iranian theocracy in Middle Eastern intrigue. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Greek–Turkish Rivalry Is Again Near the Boiling Point," 10 Sep. 2020 There was lots of intrigue surrounding the Dallas Cowboys’ roster cuts this year, as Mike McCarthy and company did their best to secure the best collection of 53 players possible. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: 3 interesting developments from Cowboys’ cutdown, including Brandon Carr and Malik Turner," 7 Sep. 2020 This was at the height of the Mueller investigation, Winston Wolkoff says, whenprotecting herself from the Trump family and the machinery of White House palace intrigue had suddenly started to seem very important. Author: Jada Yuan, Anchorage Daily News, "First lady Melania Trump used private email for White House business, former adviser and friend says," 2 Sep. 2020 In politics, what looks like sordid intrigue often turns out to be garden-variety incompetence. Star Tribune, "Incompetence is at the root of Postal Service's woes," 28 Aug. 2020 The next Call of Duty video game returns to the setting of the original Black Ops, when Cold War intrigue dominated global relations. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "Video game superpower 'Call of Duty: Black Ops' embraces its history and returns to Cold War in newest episode," 26 Aug. 2020 Ultimately, though, all this intrigue probably won’t matter. Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Robert Gehrke: Why Jon Huntsman shouldn’t run a write-in campaign for governor," 20 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Nvidia’s deal to buy chip designer Arm for $40 billion continues to intrigue. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Why Snowflake could become a tech giant," 15 Sep. 2020 And in the end, the Toronto Raptors staved off elimination against the Boston Celtics in a double-overtime thriller, the L.A. Clippers took a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Denver Nuggets and the NBA playoffs continued to intrigue. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, "Trail Blazers’ future, Raptors force Game 7, NBA Draft change, Doris Burke to make history: Playoffs news and notes," 10 Sep. 2020 Does the new Zoom meetings, online grocery ordering and Amazon shopping applications intrigue you? courant.com, "Community News For The Windsor Locks Edition," 21 Aug. 2020 Does the new Zoom meetings, online grocery ordering and Amazon shopping applications intrigue you? courant.com, "Community News For The Windsor Locks Edition," 21 Aug. 2020 Does the new Zoom meetings, online grocery ordering and Amazon shopping applications intrigue you? courant.com, "Community News For The Windsor Locks Edition," 21 Aug. 2020 In time, there are enough forking paths in evidence to intrigue a reader of Borges. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: The Murder Mystery as Math Problem," 14 Aug. 2020 Does the new Zoom meetings, online grocery ordering and Amazon shopping applications intrigue you? courant.com, "Community News For The Windsor Locks Edition," 7 Aug. 2020 Gobert and Mitchell are the Jazz’s top two scorers, so intrigue around this potential pairing would be huge on multiple levels. Kyle Hightower, The Denver Post, "Nuggets vs. Rockets? Here are the NBA matchups if league resumes season with postseason play.," 6 Apr. 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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Time Traveler for intrigue

Time Traveler

The first known use of intrigue was in 1609

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Statistics for intrigue

Last Updated

19 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Intrigue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intrigue. Accessed 21 Sep. 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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