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 embroiled

Contemporary Examples of embroiled

Historical Examples of embroiled

  • He told me once that he had embroiled me with Monsieur by policy.

    The Memoirs of the Louis XIV. and The Regency, Complete

    Elizabeth-Charlotte, Duchesse d'Orleans

  • To be embroiled now might ruin everything, and by a miracle he kept his temper.

    The Tavern Knight

    Rafael Sabatini

  • Nearly all his life he was embroiled in controversy of one sort or another.


    David Christie Murray

  • It is not right for them, who are from the country here, to be embroiled with their relatives.

    The False Chevalier

    William Douw Lighthall

  • At this, I recognized the bearer of that epistle which had embroiled me with the Abbe Montreuil.

    Devereux, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

British Dictionary definitions for embroiled


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 embroiled



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