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See more synonyms for embroil on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to bring into discord or conflict; involve in contention or strife.
  2. to throw into confusion; complicate.
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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. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for embroilment

Historical Examples

  • Different from both would be the value of a peace by neglect of such useless national discriminations as now make for embroilment.

    An Inquiry Into The Nature Of Peace And The Terms Of Its Perpetuation

    Thorstein Veblen

  • "I scarcely see how to take this," he said, being clever enough to suppose that a dash of candour might sweeten the embroilment.


    R. D. Blackmore

  • The Pope sent his plenipotentiary with troops; but this only increased the embroilment.

  • Does like join itself to like; does the spirit of method stir in that confusion, so that its embroilment becomes order?

  • Time during such an embroilment was hard to measure, and Shann could not be sure.

    Storm Over Warlock

    Andre Norton

British Dictionary definitions for embroilment


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

Word Origin

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 embroilment



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper