verb (used with object)

to bring into discord or conflict; involve in contention or strife.
to throw into confusion; complicate.

Origin of embroil

1595–1605; < Middle French embrouiller, equivalent to em- em-1 + brouiller to broil2
Related formsem·broil·er, nounem·broil·ment, nounun·em·broiled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for embroil

Historical Examples of embroil

  • In any case I shall not embroil them with each other as you would.

  • The man whom he knew to be his rival was about to embroil himself with everybody.

    Before the Dawn

    Joseph Alexander Altsheler

  • Would it make her heart lighter to have you embroil yourself for her sake?

    The Diamond Coterie

    Lawrence L. Lynch

  • "If continued, these wars will embroil all the tribes of the West," said Clark.

    The Conquest

    Eva Emery Dye

  • They only help us for money, and they wish only to embroil the world in war.

    Eve to the Rescue

    Ethel Hueston

British Dictionary definitions for embroil


verb (tr)

to involve (a person, oneself, etc) in trouble, conflict, or argument
to throw (affairs) into a state of confusion or disorder; complicate; entangle
Derived Formsembroiler, nounembroilment, noun

Word Origin for embroil

C17: from French embrouiller, from brouiller to mingle, confuse
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for embroil

c.1600, "throw into disorder," from French embrouillier (cognate of Italian imbrogliare), from en- "in" (see en- (1)) + brouiller "confuse," from Old French brooillier (see broil (v.2)). Sense of "involve in a quarrel" is first attested c.1610. Related: Embroiled; embroiling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper