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

Arsene Wenger has weighed in on Mesut Özil's World Cup failure, after the Arsenal and Germany star attracted fierce criticism in his home country for his poor performances in Die Mannschaft's shambolic campaign., "Arsene Wenger Reveals Why Arsenal Star Mesut Özil Flopped So Shambolically for Germany at World Cup," 10 July 2018 Disappointing against Iceland, Argentina put in a shambolic display against Croatia here in a 3-0 loss that left it on the verge of early elimination. Tariq Panja, New York Times, "Croatia Buries Argentina’s World Cup Hopes in a Deep Hole," 22 June 2018 The administration remains shambolic and sieve-like. The Economist, "Memo to White House staff: keep talking," 22 Mar. 2018 Put together, the interface is just completely shambolic. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "From Win32 to Cocoa: A Windows user’s would-be conversion to Mac OS, part II," 27 May 2018 Ultimately, however, England only had themselves to blame for a shambolic qualifying campaign., "World Cup Countdown: 6 Weeks to Go - Why England Failed to Qualify for the 1994 FIFA World Cup," 14 May 2018 Best Defensive Mix Up The majority of West Ham's showing at the Emirates was shambolic, but the Gunners' second goal was comically bad on the Hammers' part., "6 of the Best Moments From the Weekend's English Football Action as FA Cup Finalists Are Decided," 23 Apr. 2018 All three played in the shambolic teenage noise-folk crew Moses Campbell, one of the better bands to emerge from the peak Smell era of the late-aughts. August Brown,, "Locals Moaning craft anxious music for an increasingly nervous local scene," 7 Mar. 2018 Arsenal were utterly shambolic against Manchester City on Sunday, but the midfielder was the only man in red at least trying to make something happen and trying not to roll over., "FanView: Why Out-of-Touch Jack Wilshere is Foolish to Blame Ref for Wembley Embarrassment," 1 Mar. 2018

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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English Language Learners Definition of shambolic

chiefly British : very messy or disorganized

Comments on shambolic

What made you want to look up shambolic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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