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

Weak 5 is a Thursday night home game against the shambolic Giants, who could be starting rookie Daniel Jones at quarterback., "Same schedule for Patriots, weak after weak - The Boston Globe," 17 Sep. 2019 This may have seemed similarly showy and shambolic—only less than three years later the company had landed Falcon 9 rocket first stages successfully on land and sea after trips to space. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Starhopper aces test, sets up full-scale prototype flights this year," 27 Aug. 2019 Given his side's shambolic defensive display, such an elementary howler seemed oddly appropriate., "Unlucky Numbers: Shirt Printing Error Adds to Saudi Arabia's Woes After Thrashing by Hosts Russia," 15 June 2018 Xi Jinping, of China; and the shambolic and duplicitous new pro-Brexit British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "Trump’s Wacky, Angry, and Extreme August," 3 Sep. 2019 Jimi Hendrix With a new and under-rehearsed band, Hendrix's closing set was admittedly shambolic. Gary Graff, Billboard, "Woodstock at 50: The 12 Best Performances From the 1969 Festival," 14 Aug. 2019 And the leading contender would appear to be the artfully shambolic former London mayor Boris Johnson. Jonathan Coe, Time, "How Brexit Broke Britain and Revealed a Country at War With Itself," 6 June 2019 More seriously, perhaps, was the fact that hundreds of Algerians with tickets were denied entry, despite there being banks of empty seats in the stadium. Organizationally, the tournament was often shambolic. Jonathan Wilson,, "Algeria's Deserved Title Caps Africa Cup of Nations Clouded By CAF's Woes," 19 July 2019 Boston is 32-16 against teams with records at or below .500 but awoke Friday saddled with the 23d best record in MLB against teams at or above .500, just ahead of the shambolic New York Mets. Globe Staff,, "Red Sox needed Dodgers rematch as a reminder of what they can do," 13 July 2019

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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Last Updated

20 Sep 2019

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The first known use of shambolic was in 1970

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English Language Learners Definition of shambolic

chiefly British : very messy or disorganized

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a bell tower

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