1the secret planning of something illicit or detrimental to someone:the cabinet was a nest of intriguethe intrigues of local government officials
a secret love affair.
2a mysterious or fascinating quality:within the region’s borders is a wealth of interest and intrigue
early 17th century (in the sense 'deceive, cheat'): from French intrigue 'plot', intriguer 'to tangle, to plot', via Italian from Latin intricare (see intricate). sense 1 of the verb, which was influenced by a later French sense 'to puzzle, make curious', arose in the late 19th century