December 23, 2011
intrigue (verb)
\in-TREEG\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : to get or accomplish by secret plotting2 : plot, scheme3 : to arouse the interest or curiosity of
How do you use it?
"I am preparing other surprises that are even more marvelous and more fantastic for you and for all my beloved Golden Ticket holders -- mystic and marvelous surprises that will entrance, delight, intrigue, astonish, and perplex you beyond measure." (Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).
Are you a word wiz?

Can we arouse your interest in taking today's quiz? Our word "intrigue" comes from the Latin word "intricare." What do you think "intricare" means?

"Ah, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!" This quotation from Sir Walter Scott contains two of the ideas that led to our word "intrigue": entanglement and deceit. "Intrigue" traces back to the Latin verb "intricare," meaning "to entangle." "Intricare" made its way through Italian and French into English where its earliest meanings had to with complexity and trickery. It came to refer to using underhanded plotting and scheming in achieving an end, and also to carrying on a secret romance. Perhaps because these things interest most people, "intrigue" later acquired the extended sense of "to arouse the interest or curiosity of."
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