Synonyms of intrigue

(Entry 1 of 2)

a secret plan for accomplishing evil or unlawful ends
  • the intrigue was quickly discovered, and the would-be assassins were arrested

Synonyms for intrigue

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Synonyms & Antonyms of intrigue (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to engage in a secret plan to accomplish evil or unlawful ends
  • evidence that the leading manufacturers had intrigued to keep prices artificially high

Synonyms for intrigue

Words Related to intrigue

2 to hold the attention of
  • the mystery story intrigued me so that I read it in one sitting

Synonyms for intrigue

Words Related to intrigue

Phrases Synonymous with intrigue

Near Antonyms for intrigue

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Frequently Asked Questions About intrigue

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

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Time Traveler for intrigue

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The first known use of intrigue was in 1609

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Cite this Entry

“Intrigue.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Oct. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on intrigue

Nglish: Translation of intrigue for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of intrigue for Arabic Speakers


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