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 The nonfiction bestseller list is riddled with books about the president and his shambolic administration. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Can Book Publishers Afford to Publish Donald Trump?," 13 Nov. 2020 Nikola's war chest means that, despite the company's shambolic origins, Nikola might still have a shot to become a viable truckmaker. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Nikola has $900 million in the bank, lost $117 million last quarter," 9 Nov. 2020 The novel’s climax is a shambolic mashup of chase sequence and commentary on humanity’s herdlike, primal selves. Mark Athitakis, USA TODAY, "Review: Jonathan Lethem's 'The Arrest' a shaggy-dog apocalypse tale," 8 Nov. 2020 His shambolic indifference to this tragedy was a strategy. David Faris, TheWeek, "A Biden presidency might essentially be over before it can begin," 4 Nov. 2020 Yet track and trace remains shambolic in many European countries and the US still lacks a national tracing strategy. Tara John, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Tuesday, October 20," 20 Oct. 2020 But overall, the debate between Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Kamala Harris was more civil and civically enriching than last week's shambolic, shameful presidential debate. Editorial Board Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Stark but civil contrasts on display in VP debate," 8 Oct. 2020 The country’s cumulative death rate since the beginning of the pandemic rivals that of the United States, with its shambolic response. Gretchen Vogel, Science | AAAS, "‘It’s been so, so surreal.’ Critics of Sweden’s lax pandemic policies face fierce backlash," 6 Oct. 2020 During his shambolic debate Tuesday with Democratic candidate Joe Biden, Trump mocked his opponent for wearing a mask, which experts still consider the best way to stem the virus. Washington Post, "Trump has turned disaster flicks into real life. And this one just took a dire turn.," 2 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for shambolic

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The first known use of shambolic was in 1970

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Statistics for shambolic

Last Updated

20 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shambolic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2020.

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How to pronounce shambolic (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of shambolic

chiefly British : very messy or disorganized

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