Definition of shambles in English:

shambles

plural noun

  • 1informal A state of total disorder.

    ‘my career was in a shambles’
    • ‘The next day, the housekeeper arrived to find the place in a shambles.’
    • ‘The room was in shambles and their master laid crumpled and bleeding on the floor.’
    • ‘Despite the wonder of the things in it, the room was in shambles; everything was strewn about across desks and tables, bookshelves, and even the floor.’
    • ‘The countryside is a shambles, full of cut-throats and wild animals.’
    • ‘The California energy disaster has left the once-vigorous electricity deregulation process in shambles.’
    • ‘Currently the education system is in a shambles.’
    • ‘By evening, David and Yohanna's house was in a shambles.’
    • ‘In 1853, Louisa Dalton Bird Cunningham was aboard a steamer on the Potomac sailing from Philadelphia to her plantation in South Carolina when she saw Mount Vernon in a shambles.’
    • ‘It's been a dreadful year for the broadband industry, with DSL phone service, particularly, in a shambles.’
    • ‘He found his colony in a shambles, most of its inhabitants gone.’
    • ‘He was not very successful in his attempts, for the finances of the Empire were in a shambles and would take time to recover.’
    • ‘The second is that the first scene is such a shambles it only makes any sense when you reach the end.’
    • ‘The business focus was too narrow, customers were not sufficiently valued, and the work culture was in a shambles.’
    • ‘I don't want to come home and find my half in a shambles.’
    • ‘I think the border is in a shambles of smuggling, pollution, contagious diseases.’
    • ‘But he had been sadly mistaken and his life was in a shambles now because of it.’
    • ‘He recovered peace, he recovered provinces, and he recovered the finances, which were in a shambles after the civil war.’
    • ‘Forget the scare stories you heard when the lights went out: America's electrical grid isn't in a shambles.’
    • ‘So in a daze of confusion she entered her house to find her room in shambles and a shadow of a person sitting on her bed.’
    • ‘Now the U.S. telecommunications industry lies in a shambles, and it has the potential to damage the entire economy.’
    complete mess, pigsty
    chaos, mess, muddle, confusion, disorder, disarray, disorganization, havoc, mare's nest
    View synonyms
  • 2A butcher's slaughterhouse (archaic except in place names)

    • ‘The butchers' shambles, where animals were slaughtered and sold on Sundays, abutted the courthouse.’
    • ‘Adjacent land was added to the market in the 1360s to bring butchers' stalls together into one spot as a shambles.’
    1. 2.1 A scene of carnage.
      ‘the room was a shambles—their throats had been cut and they lay in a waste of blood’

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense meat market): plural of earlier shamble stool, stall from Latin scamellum, diminutive of scamnum bench.

Pronunciation:

shambles

/ˈSHambəlz/