Definition of shambles noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈʃæmblz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈʃæmblz//
    [singular] (informal)
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  1. 1a situation in which there is a lot of confusion synonym mess The press conference was a complete shambles. What a shambles! The government is in a shambles over Europe. He’s made an absolute shambles of his career.
  2. 2a place which is dirty or untidy synonym mess The house was a shambles.
  3. Word Originlate Middle English (in the sense ‘meat market’): plural of earlier shamble ‘stool, stall’, of West Germanic origin, from Latin scamellum, diminutive of scamnum ‘bench’.Extra examples Our defending was a complete shambles. The economy was in a shambles last year. The house was a bit of a shambles.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: shambles

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