shambles

play
noun, plural in form but singular or plural in construction sham·bles \ ˈsham-bəlz \

Definition of shambles

1 archaic :a meat market
3 a :a place of mass slaughter or bloodshed
  • the battlefield became a shambles
b :a scene or a state of great destruction :wreckage
  • the city was a shambles after the bombing
c (1) :a scene or a state of great disorder or confusion
  • an economy in shambles
(2) :great confusion :mess

Origin and Etymology of shambles

Middle English shameles, plural of schamel vendor's table, footstool, from Old English sceamol stool, from Latin scamillum, diminutive of scamnum stool, bench; perhaps akin to Sanskrit skambha pillar


SHAMBLES Defined for English Language Learners

shambles

play
noun

Definition of shambles for English Language Learners

  • : a place or state in which there is great confusion, disorder, or destruction


SHAMBLES Defined for Kids

shambles

play
noun plural sham·bles \ ˈsham-bəlz \

Definition of shambles for Students

:a place or scene of disorder or destruction
  • After the party, the house was a shambles.
Hint: Shambles can be used as a singular or a plural in writing and speaking.


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