shamble

1
[ sham-buh l ]
/ ˈʃæm bəl /

noun

shambles, (used with a singular or plural verb)
  1. a slaughterhouse.
  2. any place of carnage.
  3. any scene of destruction: to turn cities into shambles.
  4. any scene, place, or thing in disorder: Her desk is a shambles.
British Dialect. a butcher's shop or stall.

Origin of shamble

1
before 900; Middle English shamel, Old English sc(e)amel stool, table < Late Latin scamellum, Latin scamillum, diminutive of Latin scamnum bench; compare German Schemel

Definition for shambles (2 of 2)

shamble

2
[ sham-buh l ]
/ ˈʃæm bəl /

verb (used without object), sham·bled, sham·bling.

to walk or go awkwardly; shuffle.

noun

a shambling gait.

Origin of shamble

2
1675–85; perhaps short for shamble-legs one that walks wide (i.e., as if straddling), reminiscent of the legs of a shamble1 (in earlier sense “butcher's table”)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for shambles

British Dictionary definitions for shambles (1 of 2)

shambles

/ (ˈʃæmbəlz) /

noun (functioning as singular or plural)

a place of great disorderthe room was a shambles after the party
a place where animals are brought to be slaughtered
any place of slaughter or carnage
British dialect a row of covered stalls or shops where goods, originally meat, are sold

Word Origin for shambles

C14 shamble table used by meat vendors, from Old English sceamel stool, from Late Latin scamellum a small bench, from Latin scamnum stool

British Dictionary definitions for shambles (2 of 2)

shamble

/ (ˈʃæmbəl) /

verb

(intr) to walk or move along in an awkward or unsteady way

noun

an awkward or unsteady walk
Derived Formsshambling, adjective, noun

Word Origin for shamble

C17: from shamble (adj) ungainly, perhaps from the phrase shamble legs legs resembling those of a meat vendor's table; see shambles
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