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[im-brohl-yoh] /ɪmˈbroʊl yoʊ/
noun, plural imbroglios.
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.
Also, embroglio.
Origin of imbroglio
1740-50; < Italian, derivative of imbrogliare to embroil Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for imbroglio
  • The autumn has been spent under the threat of a government shutdown over the state budget imbroglio.
  • The aftermath of this imbroglio should be interesting to note.
  • The latest imbroglio seems to have ended a bit more sedately, though.
  • There was, for example, the imbroglio involving a student who complained about an odor emanating from her roommate's closet.
  • Both faces peeked out from the wreckage of the privacy imbroglio that wracked the social-networking site this week.
  • OK, a standard romantic-comedy imbroglio gets darker.
  • Two subsequent contracts had been negotiated and signed since the residency imbroglio began.
British Dictionary definitions for imbroglio


noun (pl) -glios
a confused or perplexing political or interpersonal situation
(obsolete) a confused heap; jumble
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for imbroglio

1750, from Italian imbroglio, from imbrogliare "confuse, tangle," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + brogliare "embroil," probably from Middle French brouiller "confuse" (see broil (2); also cf. embroil).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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