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Definition of intrigue in English:


Pronunciation: /ɪnˈtriːɡ
(intrigues, intriguing, intrigued)
1 [with object] Arouse the curiosity or interest of; fascinate: I was intrigued by your question
More example sentences
  • This of course was mildly interesting but what intrigued me was what if you used the values of Pi to create not letters but musical notes.
  • The Scottish lad whose family moved to Manchester was fascinated with Nazism and intrigued by sadism.
  • Most of all, I write about things that are important to me, that interest me, intrigue me, that cause a reaction in me.
interest, be of interest to, fascinate, be a source of fascination to, arouse someone's curiosity, engage someone's attention, attract, draw, lure, tempt, tantalize;
divert, titillate
stimulating, thought-provoking
2 [no object] Make secret plans to do something illicit or detrimental to someone: Henry and Louis intrigued with the local nobles
More example sentences
  • The king and the president intrigued with the local representatives of white governments.
plot, hatch a plot, conspire, take part in a conspiracy, make secret plans, lay plans, scheme, manoeuvre, connive, collude, work hand in glove
rare complot, cabal, machinate


Pronunciation: /ɪnˈtriːɡ
, ˈɪn-/
[mass noun] Back to top  
1The secret planning of something illicit or detrimental: the cabinet was a nest of intrigue
More example sentences
  • It's a tale of intrigue, dark secrets, and double crosses.
  • A tale of murder, bribery, betrayal and intrigue follows as the plot gathers pace and Solomon races to towards the finish line.
  • I hated this room, the atmosphere of backstabbing intrigue and devious plots and politics that hung overhead like a forthcoming tempest.
plotting, planning, conspiracy, collusion, conniving, scheming, machination, trickery, sharp practice, double-dealing, unscrupulousness, underhandedness, deviousness, subterfuge;
plot, scheme, stratagem, ruse, wile, artifice, manoeuvre
informal dirty tricks
rare complot, cabal, covin
1.1 [count noun] A secret love affair.
Example sentences
  • If you're one of the beautiful elite, summer is a fizzy whirl of suitors and intrigues and liaisons.
  • But while this is a satisfying central plot, the story is just as much about the accident-prone romances and intrigues of the rest of this likeable family.
  • With a rich history, including periods as a Greek and Roman colony, as well as the internal intrigues of ruling kings and their concubines, Istanbul nowadays is a colorful, eclectic melting pot of cultures.
secret love affair, affair, affair of the heart, liaison, amour, amorous entanglement, romantic entanglement, fling, flirtation, dalliance;
informal fooling around, playing around, playing away, hanky-panky
British informal carryings-on, carry-on, bit on the side
2A mysterious or fascinating quality: within the region’s borders is a wealth of interest and intrigue
More example sentences
  • Ideally, that hobby is something you have chosen for its soothing qualities, its intrigue or its social opportunities.
  • A number of large Avens and Boulder Chambers add further intrigue to a fascinating area, which could almost qualify as a complete cave system in its own right.
  • In fact, few vegetables offer as much intrigue as the mysterious mushroom.


early 17th century (in the sense 'deceive, cheat'): from French intrigue 'plot', intriguer 'to tangle, to plot', via Italian from Latin intricare (see intricate). sense 1 of the verb, which was influenced by a later French sense ‘to puzzle, make curious’, arose in the late 19th century.



Example sentences
  • There one sees what Shakespeare saw: the absolute power of the tyrant, the courtiers, the flatterers, the jesters, the cunningly ambitious intriguers.
  • As to her being a political intriguer, she was if anything rather apolitical.
  • Double agents, intriguers, and power-seekers flourished, which was one of the reasons why much information about the Decembrists' conspiracy never reached responsible officials until it was too late.

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