- a misunderstanding, disagreement, etc., of a complicated or bitter nature, as between persons or nations.
- an intricate and perplexing state of affairs; a complicated or difficult situation.
- a confused heap.
Origin of imbroglio
1740–50; < Italian, derivative of imbrogliare to embroil
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for imbroglio
Yet the current imbroglio in which Obama finds himself is self-inflicted.Obama Needs a Friend in Congress—Like Bush Had
September 10, 2013
No wonder the summit was eclipsed by the B-movie imbroglio over Secret Service agents moonlighting as sex tourists.Cartagena Summit’s Other Outrage: Obama’s Indifference to Latin Issues
April 27, 2012
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, on the other hand, found the Sestak imbroglio to be less, er, pungent.May 30: 7 Best Moments From Sunday Talk
The Daily Beast Video
May 30, 2010
The Mesopotamian imbroglio was denounced as both a crime and a blunder.The New World of Islam
Now, as the European imbroglio is clarified, at them, at them!Diary from March 4, 1861, to November 12, 1862
But at last I had grasped the clue to this imbroglio into which fate had thrust me.Tales of Secret Egypt
The imbroglio of the Ladies of the Bedchamber had been settled in 1840.Mr. Punch's History of Modern England, Vol. I (of 4).--1841-1857
Charles L. Graves
Numerous have been the attempts to entangle me in that imbroglio.
- a confused or perplexing political or interpersonal situation
- obsolete a confused heap; jumble
C18: from Italian, from imbrogliare to confuse, embroil
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 imbroglio
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper