Definition of imbroglio in English:


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nounplural noun imbroglios

  • 1An extremely confused, complicated, or embarrassing situation.

    ‘the Watergate imbroglio’
    • ‘Nor do I think that most Canadians understand or perhaps even care about the complexities of the constitutional imbroglio that has unfolded since the opposition began defeating the government in the Commons last Wednesday.’
    • ‘That's my prediction for the whole imbroglio waiting to unfold.’
    • ‘The imbroglio was motivated by the pan-green camp's embarrassing defeat in the showdown, as the pan-blue alliance used its numerical advantage to change the order of nine bills on the agenda.’
    • ‘But, in the space of 48 hours, what sounded on Sunday like an imminent threat to financial targets in New York, New Jersey and Washington has metamorphosed into an imbroglio of disarray and confusion, with a dash of farce thrown in.’
    • ‘Doesn't the imbroglio with the European Constitution bear witness to the same puzzlement: Which Europe do we want?’
    • ‘But certainly the problem, or the quarrel, or the imbroglio so far has been over the fate of these foreigners.’
    • ‘This imbroglio is emblematic of the mainline's difficulty with articulating a substantive vision of family life and family ministry in recent decades.’
    • ‘For example, there are about fifty pages in the middle somewhere that are entirely concerned with the lovers' financial imbroglios, related with all the vim of a pedantic tax accountant working his way along a paper trail.’
    • ‘But I keep returning to the last thing he says about imbroglios of tradition, technology and target marketing.’
    • ‘There was no epic quality in their foreign policy imbroglios.’
    • ‘It has its faults - implausibility and absurdity in its sexual imbroglios and a narrative structure that tends towards the elusive.’
    • ‘The party's subsequent imbroglios and constant leadership struggles have not convinced them otherwise.’
    • ‘The latest imbroglio flared last month when an 80-page draft of a Justice Department plan to expand the department's counterterrorism powers was leaked in the news media.’
    • ‘The latest imbroglio is just more more good reason this pathetic loser, this pale pint-size knock-off of a genuine leader, has to be removed from the leadership.’
    • ‘After the imbroglio over land for beggars rehabilitation and criticism over his visits to the slum areas where he made promises difficult to fulfil, he has been maintaining a low profile.’
    • ‘The present imbroglio between the exhibitors and artistes, producers and directors should be sorted out amicably within the legal frame.’
    • ‘Then there was the imbroglio over his skiing exploits where he denied that he suffers the occasional mishap while skiing.’
    • ‘That would be a great shame, since the current imbroglio presents the best chance in years to bring European policy-making into the modern world.’
    • ‘The outcome of the seat-sharing imbroglio was like an anti-climax in a Bollywood flop.’
    • ‘The corruption imbroglio may be one scandal too far for the Tax Commissioner.’
    complicated situation, complication, complexity, problem, difficulty, predicament, plight, trouble, entanglement, confusion, muddle, mess, quandary, dilemma
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    1. 1.1 archaic A confused heap.



/imˈbrōlyō/ /ɪmˈbroʊljoʊ/


Mid 18th century Italian, from imbrogliare ‘confuse’; related to embroil.