shambles

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

Recent Examples of shambles from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shambles.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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

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

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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