sham·​bol·​ic | \ sham-ˈbä-lik How to pronounce shambolic (audio) \

Definition of shambolic

chiefly British
: obviously disorganized or confused

Examples of shambolic in a Sentence

a shambolic system of public transportation
Recent Examples on the Web As the shambolic withdrawal from Afghanistan has shown, we may be done with the wars on terrorism, but they are likely not done with us. John Hillen, National Review, 10 Sep. 2021 The British Army’s generational struggle to buy new armored vehicles—any new armored vehicles—continues in typically shambolic fashion. David Axe, Forbes, 3 Nov. 2021 Blair is a band of Brooklyn zoomers steeped in ’90s DIY indie and frayed emo who make melodic, shambolic rock songs that crest and fall apart in the most beautiful way. Vogue, 7 Dec. 2021 Released at the peak of the British glam rockers’ popularity in 1973, the bouncy guitar rocker showcases the quartet in their shambolic glory. Melissa Ruggieri, USA TODAY, 4 Dec. 2021 In China, the moves are headline-grabbing and interventionist, while in the U.S., the approach is shambolic, incrementalist, and heavily influenced by the industry subject to the regulation. Chris Boone, Fortune, 3 Dec. 2021 The latter, of course, likely lost an election on the back of his shambolic pandemic performance. Washington Post, 22 Oct. 2021 The word refers to a situation that is seen as shambolic from all possible perspectives. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 30 Oct. 2021 The leader of all this non-action is the middle-aged Agent Garrick, a shambolic, avuncular presence with a paunch and a nervous cough. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, 18 Oct. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shambolic.' 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 shambolic

1970, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shambolic

probably from shambles

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The first known use of shambolic was in 1970

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Last Updated

13 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Shambolic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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English Language Learners Definition of shambolic

: very messy or disorganized

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