Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To involve in argument, contention, or hostile actions: "Avoid . . . any step that may embroil us with Great Britain” ( Alexander Hamilton).
  • transitive v. To throw into confusion or disorder; entangle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To draw into a situation; to cause to be involved.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. See embroilment.
  • transitive v. To throw into confusion or commotion by contention or discord; to entangle in a broil or quarrel; to make confused; to distract; to involve in difficulties by dissension or strife.
  • transitive v. To implicate in confusion; to complicate; to jumble.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To broil; burn.
  • To mix up or entangle; intermix confusedly; involve.
  • To involve in contention or trouble by discord; disturb; distract.
  • n. Perplexity; confusion; embarrassment.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. force into some kind of situation, condition, or course of action

Etymologies

French embrouiller : en-, intensive pref.; see en-1 + brouiller, to confuse (from Old French; see broil2).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Cognate with French embrouiller (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • For him to do as the Republicans want, he would again embroil our country in a fight that is not ours.

    Slight majority approves of Obama's handling of Iran

  • The only way to really guarantee of giving the United States a bloody nose would be to kind of embroil it in a larger, regional war.

    CNN Transcript Jun 15, 2006

  • Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., told AP he will not let the abortion issue "embroil" the healthcare reform debate.

    Newsmax - Inside Cover

  • Early in the 17th century, English speakers began using "embroil," a direct adaptation of

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day

  • Em - is a common prefix, found in words such as embark, embed, embody, emboss, embrace, and embroil.

    Read ‘em and write ‘em

  • The false claims advanced by the Bush administration that Saddam was building up a serious WMD program and that his regime had given training in “poisons and deadly gases” to al-Qaeda associates in Iraq were the apogee of this hysteria, as they helped to embroil the United States in the disastrous Iraq War.

    The Longest War

  • Critics of a no-fly zone say it is an act of war, and could embroil the United States in another conflict in the Arab world on the side of forces whose ultimate intentions are not yet clear.

    Two US Senators Urge Intervention in Libya

  • They are little more than a lifeless marionette whose strings are pulled by xenophobic, anti-scientific, right-wing extremist religious fanatics who have managed to embroil us in an illegal war, soil our international reputation, and trash our economy.

    The R.N.C. Debate That Wasn’t - The Caucus Blog - NYTimes.com

  • While I appreciate that chasing each other around the house is an important part of your daily routine, please refrain from having bat-fights across the monkey's leg, or attempting to embroil her in your disputes.

    letter to cats

  • And yet, staying on in Afghanistan for an extended period is likely to confer on the Taliban greater legitimacy as freedom fighters against foreign invaders, and will further embroil the US in a war it really cannot win, let alone have the will and financial resources to continue to continue to fight.

    Daniel Wagner: India's Ongoing Concerns Over Pakistan and Afghanistan

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