noun[treated as singular]
- 1 • informal A state of total disorder: my career was in a shamblesMore example sentences
- I think the border is in a shambles of smuggling, pollution, contagious diseases.
- I don't want to come home and find my half in a shambles.
- In 1853, Louisa Dalton Bird Cunningham was aboard a steamer on the Potomac sailing from Philadelphia to her plantation in South Carolina when she saw Mount Vernon in a shambles.
- 2A butcher’s slaughterhouse (archaic except in place names).More example sentences
- The butchers' shambles, where animals were slaughtered and sold on Sundays, abutted the courthouse.
- Adjacent land was added to the market in the 1360s to bring butchers' stalls together into one spot as a shambles.
late Middle English (in the sense 'meat market'): plural of earlier shamble 'stool, stall', from Latin scamellum, diminutive of scamnum 'bench'.