shambles

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

Definition of shambles

  1. 1 archaic :  a meat market

  2. 2 :  slaughterhouse

  3. 3a :  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


First Known Use: 15th century


SHAMBLES Defined for English Language Learners

shambles

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

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

  1. :  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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