Definition of shambles
1 archaic : a meat market
2 : slaughterhouse
3a : a place of mass slaughter or bloodshed the battlefield became a shamblesb : a scene or a state of great destruction : wreckage the city was a shambles after the bombingc (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
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
SHAMBLES Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of shambles for English Language Learners
: a place or state in which there is great confusion, disorder, or destruction
SHAMBLES Defined for Kids
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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