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1640–50; < F intriguer < It intrigare < L intrīcāre to entangle; see intricate

Verb (used with object)

  • 1. to arouse the curiosity or interest of by unusual, new, or otherwise fascinating or compelling qualities; appeal strongly to; captivate: The plan intrigues me, but I wonder if it will work.
  • 2. to achieve or earn by appealing to another's curiosity, fancy, or interest: to intrigue one's way into another's notice.
  • 3. to draw or capture: Her interest was intrigued by the strange symbol.
  • 4. to accomplish or force by crafty plotting or underhand machinations.
  • 5. Obsolete. to entangle.
  • 6. Obsolete. to trick or cheat.

Verb (used without object)

  • 7. to plot craftily or underhandedly.
  • 8. to carry on a secret or illicit love affair.


  • 9. the use of underhand machinations or deceitful stratagems.
  • 10. such a machination or stratagem or a series of them; a plot or crafty dealing: political intrigues.
  • 11. a secret or illicit love affair.
  • 12. the series of complications forming the plot of a play.


1. interest, attract, fascinate. 7. manipulate. 9, 10. manipulation. 10. See conspiracy.