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[em-broil] /ɛmˈbrɔɪl/
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 forms
embroiler, noun
embroilment, noun
unembroiled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for embroil
  • It is a lively situation in which to embroil a spectator and the breath comes pleasantly fast while it is being resolved.
  • The investigation also threatens to embroil the insurance industry's remarkable family dynasty.
  • Failure to do so would embroil the government in court for years.
  • Such a situation could embroil countries in battles over what should and should not appear.
  • Those employees can, by actions within the scope of their employment, embroil the corporation in serious legal difficulties.
British Dictionary definitions for embroil


verb (transitive)
to involve (a person, oneself, etc) in trouble, conflict, or argument
to throw (affairs) into a state of confusion or disorder; complicate; entangle
Derived Forms
embroiler, noun
embroilment, 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
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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
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