- shambles, (used with a singular or plural verb)
- a slaughterhouse.
- any place of carnage.
- any scene of destruction: to turn cities into shambles.
- any scene, place, or thing in disorder: Her desk is a shambles.
- British Dialect. a butcher's shop or stall.
Origin of shamble1
- to walk or go awkwardly; shuffle.
- a shambling gait.
Origin of shamble2
Examples from the Web for shamble
Yes, that she would, and all at once the pails began to shamble up the hill.
The ivory Pequod was turned into what seemed a shamble; every sailor a butcher.Moby Dick; or The Whale
He did not shamble along, as though his courage had been driven from his body.Footprints in the Forest
Edward Sylvester Ellis
The men were past revolt now, they could only shamble dizzily about.Beggars on Horseback
F. Tennyson Jesse
They could not walk, they could only shamble; they could not laugh, they could only leer.The Profits of Religion, Fifth Edition
- (intr) to walk or move along in an awkward or unsteady way
- an awkward or unsteady walk
Word Origin and History for shamble
"to walk with a shuffling gait, walk awkwardly and unsteadily," 1680s, from an adjective meaning "ungainly, awkward" (c.1600), from shamble (n.) "table, bench" (see shambles), perhaps on the notion of the splayed legs of bench, or the way a worker sits astride it. Cf. French bancal "bow-legged, wobbly" (of furniture), properly "bench-legged," from banc "bench." The noun meaning "a shambling gait" is from 1828. Related: Shambled; shambling.