intrigue 1 of 2


2 of 2


Synonym Chooser

How does the noun intrigue differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of intrigue are cabal, conspiracy, machination, and plot. While all these words mean "a plan secretly devised to accomplish an evil or treacherous end," intrigue suggests secret underhanded maneuvering in an atmosphere of duplicity.

backstairs intrigue

When might cabal be a better fit than intrigue?

The synonyms cabal and intrigue are sometimes interchangeable, but cabal typically applies to political intrigue involving persons of some eminence.

a cabal among powerful senators

In what contexts can conspiracy take the place of intrigue?

While the synonyms conspiracy and intrigue are close in meaning, conspiracy implies a secret agreement among several people usually involving treason or great treachery.

a conspiracy to fix prices

When could machination be used to replace intrigue?

The words machination and intrigue can be used in similar contexts, but machination implies a contriving of annoyances, injuries, or evils by indirect means.

the machinations of a party boss

When would plot be a good substitute for intrigue?

While in some cases nearly identical to intrigue, plot implies careful foresight in planning a complex scheme.

an assassination plot

Thesaurus Entries Near intrigue

Cite this Entry

“Intrigue.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on intrigue

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!