intrigue

noun
in·​trigue | \ ˈin-ˌtrēg How to pronounce intrigue (audio) , in-ˈtrēg \

Essential Meaning of intrigue

1 : the activity of making secret plans a novel of intrigue and romance an administration characterized by intrigue and corruption
2 : a secret plan political intrigues

Full Definition of intrigue

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the practice of engaging in secret schemes
b : a secret scheme : machination
2 : a clandestine love affair

intrigue

verb
in·​trigue | \ in-ˈtrēg How to pronounce intrigue (audio) \
intrigued; intriguing

Definition of intrigue (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to arouse the interest, desire, or curiosity of intrigued by the tale
2 : cheat, trick
3 : to get, make, or accomplish by secret scheming intrigued myself into the club
4 obsolete : entangle

intransitive verb

: to carry on an intrigue (see intrigue entry 1) especially : plot, scheme

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Other Words from intrigue

Verb

intriguer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for intrigue

Noun

plot, intrigue, machination, conspiracy, cabal mean a plan secretly devised to accomplish an evil or treacherous end. plot implies careful foresight in planning a complex scheme. an assassination plot intrigue suggests secret underhanded maneuvering in an atmosphere of duplicity. backstairs intrigue machination implies a contriving of annoyances, injuries, or evils by indirect means. the machinations of a party boss conspiracy implies a secret agreement among several people usually involving treason or great treachery. a conspiracy to fix prices cabal typically applies to political intrigue involving persons of some eminence. a cabal among powerful senators

Examples of intrigue in a Sentence

Noun Rolston's work channels the vampish intrigue of vintage Hollywood with a sense of irony and wit that makes the work truly modern. — Stephanie Sung, Picture, September/October 2008 In this, as in any other enterprise where there is the promise of money, intrigues and lies and hoodwinking and bullying abound. — Alice Munro, "Hard-Luck Stories," in In the Stacks2002 The story began to take on a warm, attractive glow as a Highland romantic epic of heroism and villainy, of intrigue and bravery, complete with comely maidens such as Flora MacDonald and handsome heroes such as Bonnie Prince Charlie himself. — Arthur Herman, How the Scots Invented the Modern World, 2001 a novel of intrigue and romance an administration characterized by intrigue and corruption Verb One day during math study period, after I'd finished my regular assignment, I took out a fresh sheet of paper and tried to solve a problem that had intrigued me: whether the first player in a game of ticktacktoe can always win, given the right strategy. — Martin Gardner, Scientific American, August 1998 Bundy was also a man whose thinking in foreign affairs was extremely conventional … but who in the area of domestic policy was curiously more open-minded and unconventional, so that throughout the Kennedy years, friends would be intrigued by the difference in Bundy. — David Halberstam, Harper's, July 1969 evidence that the leading manufacturers had intrigued to keep prices artificially high the mystery story intrigued me so that I read it in one sitting
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But Penny and Clinton demonstrate a sure hand at international intrigue and narrative pacing. Washington Post, 12 Oct. 2021 There are just four Pac-12 football matchups on the Week 6 schedule, but there is still plenty of intrigue. oregonlive, 8 Oct. 2021 No Time to Die, which also stars Ana de Armas, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes, and Ben Whishaw, follows Bond in semi-retirement as he's drawn back into international intrigue at the request of his CIA friend, Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright). Lauren Huff, EW.com, 6 Oct. 2021 The fact that Brady has slipped up against several Belichick-adjacent defenses in the past few years only adds another layer of intrigue. Jay Ginsbach, Forbes, 3 Oct. 2021 Saturday night's matchup between the Washington Huskies and Michigan Wolverines under the lights at Michigan Stadium is a non-conference battle with plenty of intrigue, even with each team missing a number next to its name. Jace Evans, USA TODAY, 11 Sep. 2021 After weeks of intrigue, the case drew fresh scrutiny on Saturday, when Alex Murdaugh called 911 to say he had been shot in a roadside attack in rural Hampton County. NBC News, 10 Sep. 2021 As the Red Sox try to get healthy, and the rest of the teams gear up for what should be an exciting stretch run, the various wild-card battles offer plenty of intrigue. James Wagner, New York Times, 2 Sep. 2021 The play—a fictionalized account of the thrilling real-life back-channel deals and international intrigue that led up to the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords—earned seven Tony Award nominations, including a Best Director nod for Sher. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, 29 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Cutting hair began to intrigue him since he was surrounded by it. AZCentral.com, 10 Oct. 2021 Her mysterious 1937 disappearance during a flight over the Pacific Ocean has never formally been solved, and continues to intrigue people to this day.. Cailey Rizzo, Travel + Leisure, 9 Aug. 2021 Her mysterious 1937 disappearance during a flight over the Pacific Ocean has never formally been solved, and continues to intrigue people to this day.. Cailey Rizzo, Travel + Leisure, 9 Aug. 2021 The conference already has Utah in Salt Lake City, but BYU and its national following could intrigue the conference, although the school's no-Sunday game policy and current independent status in football could be detriments. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 12 Aug. 2021 That pioneering potential seemed to intrigue the Blazers. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, 28 June 2021 So that drama, projected into celebrity, is bound to intrigue. Sadie Stein, Town & Country, 8 Aug. 2021 This information also seems to intrigue Lindsay a bit. Maggie Fremont, Vulture, 4 Aug. 2021 Her mysterious 1937 disappearance during a flight over the Pacific Ocean has never formally been solved, and continues to intrigue people to this day.. Brad Japhe, Kwin Mosby, Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, 20 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intrigue.' 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 intrigue

Noun

1609, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Verb

1612, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

History and Etymology for intrigue

Noun and Verb

French intricate affair, from Italian intrigo, from intrigare to entangle, from Latin intricare — see intricate

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Time Traveler for intrigue

Time Traveler

The first known use of intrigue was in 1609

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Dictionary Entries Near intrigue

intrigante

intrigue

intrigued

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Statistics for intrigue

Last Updated

14 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Intrigue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intrigue. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for intrigue

intrigue

verb
in·​trigue | \ in-ˈtrēg How to pronounce intrigue (audio) \
intrigued; intriguing

Kids Definition of intrigue

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to arouse the interest or curiosity of The mystery intrigues me.
2 : plot entry 2 sense 1, scheme His enemies intrigued against him.

intrigue

noun
in·​trigue | \ ˈin-ˌtrēg How to pronounce intrigue (audio) , in-ˈtrēg \

Kids Definition of intrigue (Entry 2 of 2)

: a secret and complex plot

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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